A Soothing Rain on a Parched land: Jupiter enters Sidereal Cancer


Avalokiteśvarahear ye hear ye!

I bear glad tidings regarding an immanent change in the cosmic clockwork!

Jupiter enters the sign Cancer in terms of the Sidereal Zodiac, which is followed by all Vedic Astrologers, on or very near the 19th of June 2014. This will not tally for western astrologers – they are anticipating Jupiter’s exit from Cancer in July 2014- but you’ll notice I’m full of conviction here about the certain benefits of Jupiter in Sidereal Cancer.


Jupiter enters Sidereal Cancer

The current position of Jupiter in both Tropical and Sidereal Zodiacs is shown here. The inner zodiac wheel is the Tropical Zodiac used in Western Astrology. The next layer is the Sidereal Zodiac used in Vedic astrology. On the outside are depicted the 27 Nakshatras or Lunar Mansions of Vedic Astrology. The difference between the Tropical and Sidereal Zodiacs is currently 24 degrees and a few minutes.

This benign condition will persist for a year, until roughly mid-July 2015. Jupiter completes a journey through the twelve signs of the zodiac in twelve years, hence one year per sign.

When Jupiter occupies one of its own signs (Sagittarius and Pisces), or its exaltation sign (Cancer), its beneficence is capable of fully blossoming, both materially as worldly abundance, and spiritually as wisdom, intuition, clear perception, higher learning, and peace. In Vedic astrology Jupiter is literally known as ‘Guru’. The ‘guru principle’ can reach a peak of refinement in its expression in this Jupiter in Cancer year now beginning.

The exaltation of Jupiter in the sign Cancer seems to speak of that caring and mercy that is the hallmark of realized beings, like Jesus, or Bodhisattvas.

sri sriIn the modern world of gurus Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is doing well, and doing good, through his Art of Living Foundation. He’s having a Jupiter return soon (so he is an example of the manifestation of Jupiter in Cancer, especially since it’s in tight Square to his Sun in his chart, and therefore a planet he dynamically [square] expresses and embodies).

Yes, of course there are great and good gurus born under every sign Jupiter may journey through in his twelve year cycle, but there is in the Jupiter in Cancer combination a special synergistic combination that is particularly capable of the near motherliness of saints. Don’t think for a moment that it’s merely some sort of beneficent but otherwise unintelligent sweet cuddliness. Intuitive discernment of the highest order can manifest through Jupiter in Cancer.

When Jupiter is exceptionally powerful in a birth chart; more specifically, when it occupies one of its own signs (Sagittarius and Pisces) or its exaltation sign (Cancer), and is also in a powerful house, it creates something called ‘Hamsa Yoga’ in Vedic astrology. It means Jupiter is then functioning at full strength and will manifest abundantly.

Hamsa means goose or swan. Great saints are sometimes given the name as a title- for example the famous Paramhansa Yogananda. It is believed that the goose or swan has the ability to separate milk from water, representing the highly refined discernment of realized souls.

With Jupiter in Cancer this coming year just and humane values will prevail (a lot more than usual at least), and many of those who can teach and inspire, and many of those who can heal with their compassion and mercy, they will come out and do their thing with more wind at their backs and more empowerment than usual.

This blessed condition of Jupiter’s exaltation will not quell every storm and mend every crack. But, in certain places (charts, people) Jupiter will blossom with a rare vitality and radiance, which, translated into real life terms, means many individuals will be manifesting this new enriched and potent quality of Jupiter’s wisdom, virtue and nobility in their lives. In this very real and meaningful way this precious celestial ‘juice’ that Jupiter is oozing this coming year seeps deeply into humanity like a healing balm.


Mars marches through June 2014

MarsPhew! It’s been a rather intense few months, I’m sure many of you would agree?

There have been several powerful astrological events or alignments during the first months of this year, culminating in the Grand Cross in April involving Mars, Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto.

Venus entangled

Read more about it here.

Around the 23rd of April 2014 this cross configuration was at its most geometrically precise and focused, and soon thereafter the planets involved gradually started shifting out of this very precise alignment.

Today, 26 May 2014 it looks like this:

Mars direct 1

You can see that Mars and Jupiter are now so far from their exact Square that the default settings on the software I used to generate these charts (astrolog 5.40) doesn’t consider the aspect in orb any more.

Mars is the fastest moving of these planets, and was Retrograde at the time of the Grand Cross in April. So, Mars receded back earlier into Libra (while Jupiter, and to a lesser degree, Uranus, have been relatively briskly moving forward through their signs), sitting Stationary at around 9 degrees Libra for much of May 2014, before finally turning Direct again on the 20th of May.

Planets seem to release a huge amount of energy when they change direction (from Retrograde to Direct, or vice versa), and it certainly seemed to be the case with Mars recently. Many people seemed to be experiencing a surge of Mars energy in various forms around the time of the direction change, but of course those more directly in the line of fire (Librans like myself) have been particularly prone to mishap and mayhem. I for one was in a motorcycle accident on the 22nd of May, fortunately with only minor injuries.

Now, as Mars gradually gains pace and momentum in his forward march through Libra, he re-engages the Uranus/Pluto Square from about the middle part of June 2014 till more or less the end of the month, as you can see in the diagrams below.

Mars in June 2014

Mars direct 2

What does it mean?

Hold onto your hat a little longer!!

p.s.-  do you remember those riots in London in August 2011? Take a look at the tight T-Square involving Mars, Uranus and Pluto at the time. The orbs won’t be quite as tight this time, but it gives some hint of that type of energy is about.

Mars-Uranus-Pluto London Riots

A Jyotish prediction: ‘you will acquire a fine car now’

Yesterday I participated in a workshop in which I was one of several therapists giving sample sessions to prospective clients. I knew nothing about them whatsoever. Right at the end of one session, I made this ‘prediction’.

The reason this tickles me is not simply because of the novelty of accurately predicting that a person who had just purchased a Porsche would now be ready to own the finest of vehicles, it’s the way that prediction was arrived at that I think is worth a moments pause. It’s a very fine example of Vedic astrology seeing something that western astrology wouldn’t have. Not only did Vedic astrology time a rather specific event, it also perceived that there would be a high caliber quality to the manifestation, and this insight into the quality (of the vehicle in this case) was linked directly to the use of the Sidereal Zodiac (as opposed to the Tropical Zodiac used in western astrology), since the prediction was based largely on the fact that Venus in this chart is exalted in Sidereal Pisces.

In Vedic astrology the 4th House is associated, as in western astrology, with the home and the mother (though some western astrologers see the 4th house as the father). Vedic astrology further believes cars and other vehicles (like boats) are seen in the 4th House, but, this is not something western astrology associates with the 4th House, as far as I am aware.

Planets in the 4th House would give clues to the person’s experience of that theme. Apart from that, Venus, as a general significator (Karaka) of the 4th House (for everyone), also represents vehicles. Hence, when Venus is very powerful in a chart- such as when it forms a Mahapurusha Yoga (by being in its own or exaltation sign and in an angular house)- it is traditionally said to mean, among other things, that a person will ‘command good vehicles’.

If you look at my clients’ Vedic chart you will find Venus is there in Pisces (the exaltation sign of Venus), and in the (angular) 10th House of the chart; hence Malavya Yoga, the Mahapususha Yoga of Venus, is formed. This would in itself indicate that a person will have ‘good cars’.

Vedic astrology has a unique method of calculating ‘planetary periods’, known as “Dashas”. These periods, in which the role of a single planet lights up in the chart for a given period, are relatively long in duration. They range from 6 years (for Sun dasha) to 20 years (for Venus Dasha). My client commenced his 20 years of Venus Dasha just over a year ago, bringing all that his powerfully placed Venus promises into the fullest manifestation that is likely to occur in his lifetime. This is why I considered it likely that he would in the past year have acquired a very good car, better than any he’d had before, even if they had been high quality.

Here’s the clients’ Western chart. You see, Venus there is in Aries, in the sign of its Detriment. If western astrology did take Venus as a significator of vehicles (which is doesn’t), the debility of Venus would not have been promising for the quality of vehicle the person would possess.

Furthermore, although western astrology possesses excellent and reliable methods of looking at life cycles, it was the Dasha periods of Jyotish that here timed a specific event very well. But apart from the timing, the accurate conclusion that was arrived at would only occur using the Sidereal Zodiac.

Car owner

Western Chart using Tropical Zodiac

Car owner Jyotish chart

the Vedic chart places Venus in Pisces in the 10th House, making Venus very powerful, and being in the Venus sub-period of the Venus major period, the highly auspicious role of Venus in this chart is ready to manifest as, among other things ‘a fine vehicle’

Venus Crucified – 11 to 18 May 2014

birth of venusBetween roughly 11 and 18 May 2014 Venus will ricochet through the gradually loosening Cardinal Cross. On the 11th and 18th of May the Moon happens to be Conjunct arms of the cross also, making those important peak days.

Venus Crucified 11 May 2014

In the above diagram you can see that Venus has mounted the cross and arrived at an Opposition to Mars (libido!), while the Moon is Conjunct Mars and Opposing Venus, amplifying the effect for that day.

Venus Crucified 18 May 2014On the 18th of May Venus completes the process with a Square to Jupiter (while the Moon is Conjunct the Pluto arm of the cross).

Those with key planets near the middle of the Cardinal Signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn), it may well manifest as dramatic developments (the cross, involving virile planets) in personal and romantic relationships (Venus). The energy (that has to manifest through Venus, or ‘love’) is liberated, bold, and perhaps defiant; relationships may begin or be abandoned impulsively. Social interactions are powerful, passionate, even feral.

The wilder and more ruthless energy inherent in this cross will manifest early on (explosive emotions; raw sexual energy; powerful attraction and repulsion) as Venus initially connects to Mars and Pluto.

Closer to the 18th of May Venus completes this rare cross dance with a Square to Jupiter, which seems to be a high note to end on- possibly even a self-indulgent and romantically prodigal one.

The Anatomy of the Cross

Uranus Pluto

the foundation of the entire cross formed by the slowest moving of the planets involved in the cross; it’s effects unfold between roughly 2010 and 2017, but at the time of the cross Uranus and Pluto are in a very precise 90 degree relationship


Jupiter - Uranus - Pluto
During much of the first quarter of 2014 Jupiter sits stationary (preparing to turn Direct after being Retrograde), forming a “T-Square” with Uranus and Pluto. Potentially an ‘idealistic, moralistic, or benign revolution’. Jupiter’s participation in the cross improves the potential hugely for positive and progressive manifestations. Jupiter infuses the otherwise reactionary combination with integrity and sincerity.
Jupiter Uranus

Although some of the other combinations involved Uranus may speak of a love of freedom, Jupiter combining with Uranus helps that drive to succeed. It promotes creative thinking and ideas that have the potential to make life more exciting, and materially or physically freer too. Emancipation. New and fresh expressions of knowledge and wisdom.

Jupiter Pluto

profoundly intense moral, philosophical, religious or ethical convictions; ‘principled confrontations’

Mars Jupiter

during the last days of April, and especially around 22-23 April, Mars plugs into the Jupiter/Uranus/Pluto T-Square and energizes it, calling it into dynamic physical expression. Mars combining with Jupiter represents a basic zeal and enthusiasm; courage and confidence; potentially righteous indignation

Mars Uranus

very short fuse; instant or sudden expression of anger; sudden or eccentric self assertion; individual uniqueness; complete intolerance of restrictions

Mars Pluto

relentless and purposeful effort; tenacious self-determination and self-assertion

the end of apathy

Cross in ephemeris
 * the notes on the right of each diagram are quoted from Reinhold Ebertin’s Combination of Stellar Influences. I have added my own notes at the foot of every diagram

The Feisty Cross

During the next week and a half or so, till around the 28th of April 2014, Mars is backing into the Jupiter/Uranus/Pluto t-square, creating this much anticipated grand cross in the Cardinal Signs. It’s very very game on! A very energetic time ahead. Don’t hide away; launch rockets (but read the safety instructions and take care, please).

the cross

This cross describes a maverick energy of sorts. Someone born at this time is quite untameable and unstoppable. It represents an irrepressible self-determination that may manifest as rebellion, or bold, self-righteous and sudden actions in the pursuit of some desired objective, or the defense or promotion of an ideology (Jupiter). Adventurousness and activism can be a positive manifestations of this energy; but in its exuberance and excitability this energy can be reckless thrill seeking, or provocative self-will, like spoiling for a fight. When Mars combines with Pluto in a hard aspect there is incredible tenacity and determination in the face of obstacles, so great feats of effort and endurance may occur, but in extreme cases this ‘tenacity’ can manifest as violence. It is a time to be careful and not allow tensions and antagonisms to escalate into sudden rages.

Cross in ephemeris

See the image of the ephemeris for around 23 April 2014. Mars is located at 13 degrees Libra, Jupiter at 13 degrees Cancer, Uranus at 13 Aries, and Pluto at 13 Capricorn. Wow!

It should then come as no surprise, considering that Mars is now merely upping the heat on a process that the slower moving Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto have been locked into for a while, that the man of the moment on the world stage, one who’s causing Obama & co. so much distress, should have his Sun located at 13 degrees Libra. See Putin’s chart (even if the birth time is less than completely certain, the Sun’s degree is likely to be correct).

Putin western natal chart from astro

Venus Conjunct Neptune: 12 April 2014

Venus Conj Nept

Although the moment of the exact Conjunction of Venus and Neptune will be 02:23am UT/GMT on the 12th of April, the Moon Opposes a very nearly exact Venus/Neptune Conjunction on Friday the 11th of April, bringing it into sharp focus around late morning/early afternoon UT/GMT.

Although it isn’t a long term or particularly profound astrological event, it’s worth noting, since it does represent a sensitization in the realm of love and romance that can have dramatic effects if it triggers your chart or if you’re in the midst of a romantic episode.

Venus Conjunct Neptune may manifest as romantic sentimentality and impressionability; easily falling in love, and being easily disappointed. It can represent romantic bliss; the most complete experience of selfless love that’s possible. There may be a refined and delicate artistic inspiration or sensibility (see the Venus/Neptune Conjunction in Leonard Cohen’s chart below). However, when it’s not being handled well, Venus so powerfully connected to Neptune can mean profound disillusionment, confusion, or even deception in relationships; boundaries are blurred, and one may get lost in a romantic fog. It’s hard to get back to your center when you’ve given yourself away. Romantic melancholy and vulnerability is a typical manifestation of Venus Conjunct Neptune ‘self-loss’, as are the most mystical, ecstatic and transcendent conceptions of personal love.

Venus/Neptune drowns in love; whether as intoxicating communion, or anguished fear of separation.

Leonard Cohen

The Romance of Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg

Serge and JaneI think I may have been in the throes of transiting Neptune Squaring my natal Venus (and the inevitable elusive romantic bliss that ensues), that I first heard the famous Birkin and Gainsbourg duet,  Je t’aime… moi non plus (“I love you… me neither”).

It’s intoxicating languid sensuality. I liked it.

It’s easy to understand how it became quite a hit in its day, and how their song may have offended conservative tastes; it was banned in some countries when it was released.

My curiosity was piqued when I saw this iconic image of Jane sitting on Serge’s lap.

Serge and Jane on couch

  The sensual intensity of their connection seemed palpable. Serge looked like an interesting and charismatic guy, and beautiful Jane (in the picture at least) seemed to me to posses that soft and seductive doe-eyed naiveity that is just about every man’s dream. I realized that this music was made by real people, by real lovers to be more precise, and so naturally their music would embody something of the character of its creators.

I’ve only just begun this case study, but what I’ve found here at very first glance really excites me, and so I hasten to share it. It’s beautiful astrology.

Jane Birkin

Serge Gainsbourg

The first thing that catches my eye is the fact that their two Moons are in a fairly close Conjunction, and, even more interestingly (though this would be a rather obscure piece of information to most people) located in the sexy Purva Phalguni Nakshatra (the 11th lunar mansion of Jyotish, located between 13 degrees 20 mins and 26 degrees 40 mins of Sidereal Leo).

Birkin and Gainsbourg Nakshatras

With such a close Moon-Moon Conjunction between them they would ‘get each other’ at a basic level, and this Conjunction would be key, I believe to making them feel they naturally belong together.

Light on Life says the following about Purva Phalguni:

“Purva Phalguni’s symbol is a bed or hammock, and its deity is Bhaga, one of Adityas, the gods responsible for protecting and maintaining conjugal bliss and wealth. Its alternate deity is Shiva Lingam, a symbol of Shiva.

Hammocks symbolize rest, relaxation and enjoyment, and Bhaga adds love, affection between the sexes, sexual passion and pleasure to this Nakshatra’s symbolism… Purva Phalguni also indicates the creative arts… Music, musicians, actors and other creative artists. Things, places and people associated with rest and relaxation, vacations, and entertainment (especially theater, cinema and classical music). Dressing up and going out. Professions connected with marriage: wedding planners, marriage counselors, sex therapists etc.”

Jane and SergeClearly the sexiness of their shared Moon’s Nakshatra position got amplified when they joined forces!

Jane’s chart contains a conspicuously tight orbed Venus/Jupiter Conjunction; she’s not afraid love, and she seeks a love that’s bold and expansive.  Venus Conjunct Jupiter brings social opportunities, and with such a tight Conjunction, blessings may literally fall into your lap on many levels. There can be an element of the extravagant and over-indulgent in a Venus/Jupiter hard aspect, and when their famous duet was released, some would have argued she was manifesting just this type of Venus/Jupiter excess. Having Uranus in the 1st House Opposing the Sun and Quincunx Venus and Jupiter would reinforce her ability and inclination to shock and surprise with her liberal and flaunted sexuality.

The Moon’s Nodes are one of astrology’s more mysterious elements. There seem to be a number of different but effective ways of interpreting them. Vedic astrology sees them very differently to western astrology, and even among western astrologers there are some widely differing takes on what the Nodes represent. One approach links them to our associations and bonds with others. From that angle Jane’s close Node/Ascendant Conjunction looks important. She needs to be ‘bonded’ and in relationship; Reinhold Ebertin, in The Combination of Stellar Influences, describes Node/Asc as ‘personal relationship‘.

Now, quite impressively, Jane and Serge have their Nodes too in close Conjunction! They were born an entire 18 year Node cycle apart. My feeling is that this Node/Asc Conjunction in Jane Birkin’s chart contributed to her ability to gain fame and recognition, and Serge’s Node Conjunct her’s seems to have reinforced this potential.

Serge’s chart shows Mercury and Venus close to the Ascendant, and in Square Aspect to Saturn. Mercury and Venus on the Ascendant can make one an artist and a writer, and perhaps also something of a charmer. It would contribute to a person’s attractiveness, even if they’re not a classic beauty. Venus Square Saturn is a textbook indication of notable age difference in marriage and romance.

The Sun and Jupiter in Conjunction in Serge’s chart gives him confidence, and it can enable a person to become ‘big’; a type of larger than life personality. It seems to be part of why he would fit Jane’s Venus/Jupiter desire for a love that could expand her horizons and teach her things. Serge was as much a mentor to her as a lover.

Here are their Vedic charts:

Jane Birkin Vedic chart

Serge Vedic chart

 Jane’s Vedic chart places the Ascendant in the Sidereal sign Taurus, and lovely Venus, the Ascendant lord, is located rather awkwardly in the 6th House, but in its own sign Libra, and Conjunct benefic Jupiter, as already noted. Simply having the Ascendant ruler in its own sign is a great boost to one’s ability to make a success of life. There may however be some initial frustrations. When she first met Serge, for example, he was severely critical of her, but they thereafter become inseparable.

Work and employment in an artistic or cultural field, where you’re not really working all that hard at all, is a natural manifestation of Venus and Jupiter together  in the 6th House.

Sun in the 7th House by itself affirms that the partner is someone with a strong sense of identity and authority, and it may have contributed to the naturalness of Serge’s father figure role in her life.

Look at Serge’s Vedic chart; if he was not born 4 or more minutes later than the given birth time (astro.com’s astrodatabank rates his birth data AA) he has Sidereal Aquarius rising, with Moon (and Neptune) in the 7th House. His partners may be famous, conspicuous, they shine, and there will be a strong emotional bond with partner. Neptune in the 7th House not only fits the theme of a partner involved in the arts or film, but also imbues his ‘marriage’ with an almost mystical or otherworldly quality. He can idealize his partner and his relationship, but this does make one prone to emotional misery if the partner disappoints.

They met soon after Serge commenced Rahu Mahadasha (the major period of the Moon’s North Node), according to the Vedic system. His Rahu is located in Rohini Nakshatra (as Jane’s Ascendant and Node).

Again, using Light on Life (by Hart de Fouw and Robert Svoboda) as our guide, we find this on Rohini:

“One ancient Indian myth makes Rohini, the red star Aldebaran in Vrisabha, the favorite of the Moon’s 27 Nakshatra wives, because of her beauty, charm and culture, her expertise in art and music, and her skill in the conjugal arts. The word ‘Rohini’ is etymologically linked with a Sanskrit term for red, a color which symbolizes passion and sensuality and is the color of its principal star. Classically feminine qualities and articles, including physical beauty, love, romance, perfumes, scents and fragrances are all associated with Rohini…”

Rohini Rising in Jane’s chart would have given her the the desirable feminine qualities as permanent personal attributes. For Serge Rohini was ‘switched on’ shortly before his romance with Jane began- the themes of a planet’s Nakshatra position always come into fuller manifestation in its period or ‘Dasha’.

Jane was in her Moon period when her romance with Serge began; you’ll recall the sexy themes associated with both of them having Moon in Purva Phalguni.

Interestingly, when they met they were both running the Dasha period of a planet that was Conjunct the same planet in the other’s chart. Serge was in Rahu (North Node) Dasha and his Node is Conjunct hers; she was in Moon Dasha and her Moon is Conjunct his.

Needless to say, these are merely first impressions! I leave it to you, dear reader, to dig deeper if you like…

musings on the Aries Ingress- 2014 Equinox

Astrologers believe that the moment of the Equinox, or the Sun’s entry into Tropical Aries, contains the story of the coming year, and in particular, the coming quarter.

One problem with reading this chart, or rather the task of mapping the planetary positions for this moment, is that the sky’s orientation to the horizon is different at that crucial Equinoctal moment at every location on earth.

2014 equinox globe

You can be a lot more specific about the implications of the general solar system pattern for a specific location.

equinox 2014


The above diagram shows the general planetary pattern in the zodiac, regardless of specific location. The planets are at these zodiacal degrees everywhere at the moment of the equinox.

I’ve circled Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto in red. These three planets have been locked into this intense t-square configuration for much of the early part of 2014, and now at the time of the Equinox the orbs (or degree of precision in the geometry) are fairly tight; the configuration is powerful and in sharp focus now. Theoretically, even after the planets move out of this configuration, this alignment’s symbolism will remain active throughout the coming year.

It represents a powerful striving for freedom, and a rather determined and radical approach to working for social change and justice. It certainly imbues the gradually unfolding global Uranus/Pluto revolution with a visionary (Jupiter) and idealistic quality, which is the best type of intense and radical revolution to have. Laws and even religious movements (Jupiter) may be radically changed, and there would be a zealous sense of the righteousness of a revolutionary or radical attitude. It can be a very creative time, and amazing inventions may come to light.

The Moon being close to Saturn catches my eye. Is this some sort of bereavement? Maybe loss of homes through great winds? I don’t know for sure, but it can mean such things. This wide Moon/Saturn Conjunction is on the midheaven just off eastern Australia….

Moon saturn Australia

Mercury is close to Neptune in this Equinox chart. This paints a picture of some sort of deception, misunderstood information, or immersing the mind in mystical and otherworldly thoughts and ideas.

This Mercury/Neptune Conjunction is on the Midheaven close to Dallas, Houston, Mexico City…

Merc Nept Dallas

Astrocartography maps, like the one below focusing on Africa, can be useful when looking at something like an Equinox, since they show where on earth planets were ‘angular’ (Conjunct one of the angels. the Ascendant-Descendant, Mc-Ic cross). It isn’t the whole story regarding what the Equinox indicates for a given location, but it does highlight places where planets will manifest powerfully. 

Africa astrocartography


I see the Sun on the Descendant near Cape Town. The Sun relates specifically to authority; although I wonder, perhaps with Sun on the Descendant (rather than Ascendant) in Cape Town, there could be a challenge to authority, or a power-struggle of some kind? Perhaps a strict edict is sent forth from the government structures there.

I’m pleased to see that, as an astrologer (and budding revolutionary) I’m suitably located near a Uranus line at this time! Perhaps there will be startling events nearby in the weeks and months ahead….

Without even getting warmed up there’s too much information!

More useful, perhaps, than this musing over what might be shown for the world at various locations in the Equinox mape, is bearing in mind that at such special junctures in time; Equinoxes, Solstices, Full Moons and New Moons, etc., it’s an excellent time for focusing your mind and setting your intentions, so that you can align yourself with the shifting tide. An important change of gear is occurring, and the tradition of making these holy-days is calling for mindfulness at these times, because they’re seed moments, and you too contribute to what is then seeded.

Melissa Bachman and the lion kill

Recently a certain Melissa Bachman from the USA caused more than a little upset here in South Africa after a picture of her posing next to a lion she’d shot and killed got around.

Melissa, smiling next to her trophy

I personally totally abhor such unnecessary killing, but I do find it intriguing that this particular person and this particular incident should suddenly be so inflammatory when this kind of thing happens daily in Africa, South Africa being no exception. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it may be technically completely legal in South Africa for her to have killed that lion in that setting. Had she flouted our laws, had she burst in here massacreing animals we were protecting and cherishing as a nation with appropriate laws and infrastructure, then, indeed, go on, have your mob justice. Ban her, or worse!

Then what?

Yes, I have heard, this woman loves to kill living creatures. It’s her thing. It’s crazy that it’s allowed, but it is, and that’s what we should really be looking at. I personally think willfully and wantonly killing any sentient creature is a form of murder, but alas, we’re in the age of Kali Yuga and civilization is at a very low ebb!

I also believe that sarcasm, hurtful and intentionally wounding criticism, cheating another person out of their fair share, slander, making another person feel less than, controlling or manipulating other people because you aren’t quite at peace with yourself, these too are heinous crimes, aren’t they?

The Tibetan Master Djwhal Khul has said:

“Harmful magnetic conditions, as the result of man’s wrong handling of force, are the causes of evil in the world around us, including the three sub-human kingdoms. How can we, as individuals, change this? By the development in ourselves of Harmlessness. Therefore, study yourself from this angle. Study your daily conduct and words and thoughts so as to make them utterly harmless. Set yourself to think those thoughts about yourself and others which will be constructive and positive, and hence harmless in their effects. Study your emotional effect on others, so that by no mood, no depression, and no emotional reaction can you harm a fellow-man. Remember in this connection, violent spiritual aspiration and enthusiasm, misplaced or misdirected, may quite easily harm a fellow-man, so look not only at your wrong tendencies but at the use of your virtues.

If harmlessness is the keynote of your life, you will do more to produce right harmonious conditions in your personality than any amount of discipline along other lines. The drastic purgation brought about by the attempt to be harmless will go far to eliminate wrong states of consciousness . . .

Therefore, I say to you at this time, I – an older and perhaps more experienced disciple and worker in the great vineyard of the Lord – practice harmlessness with zest and understanding, for it is (if truly carried out) the destroyer of all limitation.”

I believe I have found the correct date, but not the time, of Melissa’s birth.

Natal Chart of Melissa Bachman: no birth time so Ascending, MC and Moon degree uncertain

I guess finding Mars and Saturn in Conjunction is no surprise (circled in red in the diagram above). Mars can be aggressive and ruthless enough by itself, but when combined with calculated Saturn, cruelty becomes more likely. Furthermore, there is a tight Square between Mercury and Mars. This is no doubt currently manifesting as ‘sharp shooting’; Mercury-Mars is ‘clever aggression’; it’s the gun with it’s scope, the precise aiming…

Blogging about hunting is, well, certainly a direct translation of Mercury-Mars, and with Mercury in Ashlesha Nakshatra (the Lunar Mansion of Vedic astrology symbolized as a serpent and associated with wounding and harm) the intellectual faculties have been directed towards planning, executing and then articulately describing harmfulness.

Her chart merely provides conditions or, for want of better words, a structure that make possible what she is manifesting and embodying. It is not inevitable that it would take this form, neither is it inevitable that Melissa will persist in expressing these features of her chart in the way she has been doing thus far. She may well change. Although it’s unfortunately true that humans are capable of tremendous desensitization (Moon Square Uranus in her chart?), we’re all the same in essence, and that essence tends to express itself as caring and protective instincts.

She is now, as this furore over her lion kill in South Africa erupts, in the throes of her Saturn Return. Obviously this is a type of ripening or ‘coming of age’ of precisely that part of her chart that most distinctly and unambiguously shows where this hardness in her comes from that makes her killing possible. How fascinating but also appropriate that it should be at this time that she suddenly, and I expect, unwittingly, set off a hornet’s nest of protest. Saturn Returns often bring us clear feedback from the larger social order about the viability (or otherwise) of our chosen role and career and our style of bringing this into concrete expression. During mid 2014 transiting Saturn will be stationary on her Mars for quite a while. I wonder whether that will involve any delayed backlash from this South African sojourn that has evoked such interest in her ‘work’?

Take a look at the New South Africa’s chart below. We have a rather self-righteous Sun-Jupiter Opposition that her Saturn plugs into very snugly, and as Saturn returns to that place she profoundly offends our dignity! Isn’t it interesting that on the 3rd of November there was a Solar Eclipse (with Saturn very close to the Sun and Moon) at 11 degrees Scorpio, very close to the place of Jupiter in the New South Africa’s chart (10 degrees Scorpio) and Melissa’s Saturn (9 degrees Scorpio). Eclipses are widely believed by astrologers to have an effect for weeks if not months before and after they occur. In other words, a very big energy release occurred early in November 2013 exactly where South Africa’s ‘public dignity and righteousness’ complex (presented by Sun Opposing Jupiter in the 10th in the New South Africa’s chart) is located. The eclipse was like a huge amplification of Melissa Bachman’s Saturn Return (with Mars), which found a perfect dancing partner in South Africa’s simultaneous ripeness for a public (10th) display of dignified moralizing (Jupiter/Sun). I have previously noted that South Africa’s secondary progressed Jupiter is gradually approaching its natal Sun; so that could imply a gradually increasing concern with morality, ethics, knowledge, high standards of culture, etc. etc., but some hypocritical pontificating could not be ruled out too, as a general pattern of South Africa’s behavior, and as a relatively gradually developing cyclic trend.New South Africa

As an aside, now, during November 2013, while everyone is upset or at least hearing about this lion slaying, Mars is passing through Sidereal Leo (opposite her Moon in Sidereal networked Aquarius). She may or may not have killed this lion under Mars in Sidereal Leo, but this symbol, Melissa Bachman, the Notorious Lion Huntress, certainly fits Mars in Leo symbolism… but then you can translate Mars in Tropical Virgo as “rogue maiden huntress”…