This is a foundational astrology course that presents core techniques of western astrology. We will explore the symbols that are used in astrology: planets, signs, houses and aspects. The focus of the course is on learning to work in a practical way with Aspects, both in terms of birth chart interpretation and in the context of life cycles (Transits).
All the lessons will be recorded and sent to participants after the course. Every participant will receive a link to download the content of the following disc containing valuable resources:
Course fee: ZAR600 (if paying from a South African bank account) or US$60 via PayPal
Payment info here.
Please register here for the webinar: https://
If you have any queries email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you know your way around a western astrological birth chart, and you’ve been keen to explore Jyotish, this short intensive course is for you! This course will cover chart calculation, the core principles of chart interpretation, as well the rules for applying the unique ‘Dashas’ or planetary periods of Vedic astrology.
Three consecutive Wednesdays: 5th, 12th & 19th of November, 7-9pm (South African time, GMT + 2 hours)
Cost of course: ZAR600 (if paying from South African bank acc) or $60 (via PayPal).
Please register for the course here: https://
For bookings or queries email Richard Fidler at email@example.com
Total Solar Eclipse of 3 November 2013 directly above Guinea- the birth moment of the outbreak:
I would speculate that around this time, somewhere in or near Guinea, the Ebola virus, once fearsome but presumed dead and buried, wakes up, and starts incubating in a human being. It could be up to 21 days before its host would start to feel ill. It would be quickly downhill from there for that first victim who would be vomiting and sweating. Friends and family would be highly exposed, as would any medical workers attending to the patient, since nobody would have suspected the extreme danger of the situation. It could take up to another 21 days for this first round of new infections to show symptoms and become contagious in their turn. It’s easy to see how it took until early 2014 before it started becoming apparent that there was some new virulent virus rapidly spreading in that area. I believe the first suspicions and suggestions that it was the resurrection of the Ebola virus occurred quite some time before the first official confirmation and announcement of it, which occurred around the 22nd of March 2014, immediately after the Equinox.
There are several compelling reasons why the Total Solar Eclipse of 3 November 2013 should be considered the birth or genesis of the outbreak. For one, Saturn was tightly Conjunct the Sun and Moon at the time. This would be almost enough, considering who Saturn is, and considering that people were starting to arrive in hospitals with the symptoms not long afterwards- as early as January 2014 I have read. That eclipse was not only quite precisely on the MC in Guinea at the time, but the narrow epicentre of eclipse path barely missed it. In other words, the eclipse (tagging grim Saturn along) peaked directly above the Guinea area. That eclipse could truly be said to have cast its deepest shadow, and opened the valves for Saturn I believe, while directly and almost perfectly above Guinea.
It seems important to note that Mars and Pluto were in the wings, aiding and abetting Saturn’s reign over this eclipse. You cannot conjure a more fearsome and ruthless trio! Here are some of Reinhold Ebertin’s words for this type of combination:
“… the rage or fury of destruction, bodily injury or harm (murder, the death of many people)… the necessity to fight for one’s existence or life…”
Then, incredibly, we find that this Solar Eclipse of 3 Nov 2013, which occurs directly above Guinea, was on the Ascendant in Dallas! What’s more, the actual ‘flight path’ of the eclipse almost literally swoops from its point of maximum eclipse above Guinea to southern North America. The virus did just that- it traveled directly from where the eclipse was on the midheaven, to where it was on the ascendant and still near the narrow epicentre of the eclipse path! It’s quite amazing.
The Grand Cross of April 2014
Joni Patry posted a clip on youtube about the Ebola Virus and spoke about Mars in Sidereal Virgo, and the fact that it went retrograde within that sign this year. I can believe that the period of retrogression of Mars could infuse the sign it occurs in with a fuller dose than usual of its hemorrhagic virility. Mars in Virgo, of course, can describe, in simple terms ‘acute or feverish health complaints‘, as well as, arguably, the idea of a ‘health emergency and crisis‘. Mars is hot and bothered, and Virgo is health. Easy enough to see a link there. I may not have been inclined to look at it this way, even though I use the Sidereal zodiac routinely, but I think it may be part of the picture.
As far as zodiacal symbolism goes I can see in Mars in Virgo an aptness, a supportive environment for the manifestation of a ‘health war‘, but not the cause of the event. I do find it a fitting coincidence that Mars entered Sidereal Virgo pretty much as one full incubation period after the Nov 2013 eclipse was completed. Allowing for the 21 day incubation period, there’s a rather tight fit between Mars entering Sidereal Virgo (on the 26th of November 2013), and the likely first cases of manifested ‘health crisis’, such as a severely sick person arriving at a hospital.
It tempts me to reconsider the Grand Cross that caused such a stir in the first half of 2014, but through the Sidereal Zodiac lens. Consider that the Mutable signs disperse, engage with neighbors (Gemini), they travel (Sagittarius), and they’re also very literally associated with such things as health, hospitals, sacrifice, etc. (Virgo-Pisces).
I read on one of the regular timelines on the outbreak that on the 4th of April:
“a mob attacks an Ebola treatment center in southeastern Guinea. Healthcare workers in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia face growing hostility from fearful, suspicious local people.”
This sounds like that violent and defiant Mars/Uranus/Pluto. This particular event on the 4th of April occurred as the Sun was Conjunct Uranus and Square both Pluto and Jupiter. During April Mars not only Opposed the Sun on the 8th (in Sidereal Virgo/Pisces), but was rapidly backing earlier into Virgo (Tropical Libra), approaching its appointment with the Grand Cross around 25 April 2014. Although somewhat inadequate to the severity of the crisis, I expect that there may well have been something of a panic and a chaotic scurrying effort around this time to manage the ballooning epidemic. Doctors rushing in, makeshift facilities being quickly erected in a chaotic and extremely hazardous environment.
I think the Cross stirred things up whichever zodiacal way you look at it, and that’s the more important general point.
This cross was most dramatically exact around the 25th of April 2014, but Mars spent the entire first half of 2014 weaving in and out of creating Crosses, of varying degrees of geometric precision, out of the hovering T-Square composed of Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto. This in itself contributed to Mars being a very busy and provocative player on the world stage during the first half of 2014. Apart from the actual wars- with bombs and guns going off and people being killed- raging in several places in the world in that period, the level of animosity between such great powers as Russia and America seemed to reach unprecedented levels. It was a generally tumultuous period both astrologically and globally on the world stage; things were ‘feverish’.
As I see it, the Sidereal Mutable Grand Cross, spearheaded as it was by a sickly Virgo Mars who kept coming back for more ‘health war’, may have been the perfect storm in which the outbreak could grow and spread. Perhaps there was just so much chaos everywhere else in the world at the time (Vladimir Putin, with his Sun aligned to the cross, helped to take care of that, in an admittedly rather Cardinal fashion), that it was difficult for those on the ground who were realizing that the situation was dire and urgently needing a focused global response, to get anyone’s attention. When you see how relatively small and effectively contained previous outbreaks of Ebola have been, in terms of fatalities, you realize that this current resurgence is a whole new order of crisis. Perhaps it is fitting that the astrological factors contributing to the situation would be many and various.
The Equinox of March 2014: the Identification and Announcement of the Ebola outbreak
Just about every chronology of the current severe outbreak begins immediately after the Equinox that occurred on the 20th of March 2014 and refers to the announcement that there was a new and serious outbreak of the Ebola virus in the region of Guinea. The astrocartography map for the oracular moment of the Equinox shows Mercury and Neptune on the Descendant close to Guinea. The thing to note is that this is merely the coming to light- ‘news of the suffering’, as Mercury/Neptune could be read- of something that has been festering for some some time, and is already somewhat out of control.
A friend remarked, regarding this Mercury/Neptune on the Descendant near Guinea in the Equinox chart, that the announcement itself may be of dubious accuracy or misunderstood, which seems a fair point to ponder, however else you might interpret it.
The Equinox chart shows a Moon/Saturn Conjunction, which is widely Conjunct the November 2013 Eclipse. In a blogpost at the time of the Equinox I wrote that this could represent ‘bereavement’. Bear in mind this is a chart for the world for the coming year.
August 2014: Mars arrives at the eclipse degree, then soon afterwards Conjunct Saturn
August 2014 was an important month. Mars crossed over the Nov 2013 eclipse point around mid August, and then formed a Conjunction to Saturn on the 25th of August. I expect this was something like an important climax in the process, and that a critical watershed point was reached here that resulted in the world recognizing once and for all that this was truly an ominous global threat. I certainly felt I noticed a sharp spike in the sense of urgency and concern in the reporting on Ebola around this time, which I was only incidentally exposed to. I wasn’t tracking it, and I don’t watch television.
I found an interesting affirmation of this impression in an article on the leading role of Cuban doctors in the fight against Ebola in West Africa. Lamenting the lack of appropriate international response to the crisis, the article states:
“André Carrilho, an illustrator whose work has appeared in the New York Times and Vanity Fair, noted the moment when the background hum of Ebola coverage suddenly turned into a shrill panic. Only in August, after two US missionaries caught the disease while working in Liberia and were flown to Atlanta, did the mushrooming crisis come into clear focus for many in the west.”
Here are a few further notable facts about the Ebola story in August:
Aug 8: WHO declares Ebola an “international public health emergency” but stops short of calling for a ban on international trade or travel.
Aug 12: WHO says death toll from the outbreak has risen above 1,000, and approves use of unproven drugs or vaccines.
A Spanish priest with Ebola dies in a Madrid hospital.
Aug 14: WHO says reports of Ebola deaths and cases from the field “vastly underestimate” the scale of the outbreak.
Aug 15: MSF compares the Ebola outbreak to “wartime,” says it will take about six months to control.
Aug 20: Liberian security forces in Monrovia fire live rounds and tear gas to disperse crowd trying to break out of Ebola quarantine. One teenager dies of gunshot wounds.
Aug 24: Democratic Republic of Congo declares an Ebola outbreak in its northern Equateur province, apparently separate from the larger West African outbreak.
Apart from the glaring way Mars crossing over the Eclipse degree seems to have excited the situation to a boiling point, that last entry, referring to an apparently separate outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo catches my eye. I could not help getting the impression that- particularly during the two weeks immediately after the Mars/Saturn Conjunction on the 25th of August- many people in my own community were getting acutely ill with infections not responding to the usual treatment. I was in fact one of them. I have never sweated like that from a fever, and in all seriousness I thought for a while I might have caught Ebola, so similar were the symptoms! 1500 kilometers away, my brother’s girlfriend was hospitalized soon after the Mars/Saturn Conjunction, acutely ill due to some difficult to trace and uncommon viral or bacterial cause. Could it be that the November 2013 eclipse (which incidentally occurred on my Ascendant) spawned many little cousins of what we have called an Ebola outbreak? It seems a plausible idea, and I think I’ve seen evidence of this. Perhaps some of these lesser “eboli” only started really waking, or flaring up, when Mars crossed the Nov 2013 Eclipse degree and arrived at a Conjunction with Saturn, and then were ready to invade those who were astrologically aligned to the eclipse, perhaps? My brother’s Moon is in Tropical Scorpio, close to where the Mars/Saturn Conjunction occurred…
Equinox 2014: America’s first Ebola case diagnosed in Dallas
It is reported that Eric Duncan, the first person to be diagnosed in America, started experiencing symptoms on the 24th of September 2014; the day after the Equinox, and the day of a New Moon. A few days later, after initially being sent home with antibiotics by healthcare workers when he sought help, he was diagnosed, at a Dallas hospital, as having contracted Ebola. The extraordinary fact that the Nov 2013 eclipse was on the Ascendant in Dallas and on, or very close to, the eclipse path, has already been described above. This was a defining moment in the unfolding drama. It announced that nobody was safe, anywhere.
I find it intriguing that there’s a very tight Mars/Neptune Square in the Equinox chart, a configuration often associated with contagious infections (Mars and Neptune were in fact in Opposition at the time of the Nov 2013 Eclipse). It implies the world will become aware of this susceptibility to contagion, at least during the coming quarter. Immediately after both Equinoxes in 2014 there have been dramatic revelations about the Ebola virus. As I understand it the ‘0 deg Aries Point‘, which is animated by all Equinoxes and Solstices, relates to things coming onto the world stage, things becoming public knowledge. This seems to be well borne out by the way the Equinoxes have been immediately followed by a big leap in public awareness of the crisis.
Curiously, the news that Ebola had arrived in America broke as the Moon in Sidereal Scorpio crossed over Mars and the star Antares, sending a tremor of fear and trepidation through the world’s most powerful nation (Antares is a red star in the heart of the scorpion; ‘Antares’ means ‘rival of Mars’ being similarly red in color, and so there was quite a dramatic meeting of ‘redness’, highlighted by the Moon, as this important news came to light).
The chart for the Equinox of 23 September 2014 places Saturn close enough to the Descendant near Dallas to warrant mentioning; perhaps it could be read as an ‘encounter with grim reaper’? It’s certainly not going to be protective. Saturn on the Descendant Aspects the Ascendant.
I have no doubt there is more to the astrology of the Ebola crisis than I have managed to unravel, and maybe some of the above is somewhat speculative. However, I may not have bothered trying to dig deeper about this topic at all had that 3 Novemeber 2013 Eclipse not spoken to loud and clear and true. In my opinion, it is the one solid gleaming gem of astrological revelation regarding this outbreak, and I call it that because it could be something of a key to understanding eclipses better in general, and more specifically in relation to important epidemics.
Where does it go from here, this Ebola outbreak? I don’t know. This is not everyday astrology, and I don’t want to guess. This investigation is if anything a learning journey for me. I’m merely sharing my musing as I go along. That said, it wouldn’t surprise me if there is still news to be had about this story when the Equinox of 2015 comes around…
I remember well the total solar eclipse of 3 November 2013. I had noticed, as other astrologers would have, that Saturn was to be located very close to the Sun/Moon Conjunction that created the eclipse. At first glance this is pretty ominous, since old Saturn is the Greater Malefic of the planetary family. A type of grim reaper archetype.
I am not an expert on eclipses, and I can’t claim to have researched them carefully in the past, but non-the-less, it seemed a natural conclusion that this eclipse would in some way act as a channel and amplifier of Saturnine energy. I thought, back then, that it was a fairly big omen, and I was almost surprised at the apparent absence of dramatic world events at the time (but of course that was just a subjective impression, and I didn’t think more of it). I do recall though, that at the very time of the eclipse, in the hour of totality, I was at a Permaculture conference and several children there suddenly got very ill! It was quite surreal; everything seemed fine one moment, and the next there were writhing moaning sick children everywhere.
Then, at the end of March 2014, someone posted about the Ebola outbreak in an astro-medical facebook group. The post didn’t contain any grand astrological conclusions, and didn’t link the outbreak to the eclipse. It simply presented something of a timeline and some basic facts about the outbreak, such as the fact that it seemed to originate in or near Guinea, the incubation period of the virus, etc.
It then suddenly dawned on me that the first actual cases of the illness, which would most likely not have been diagnosed and reported, would probably have occurred not too long after the ominous looking Saturnine Solar Eclipse of 3 November 2013.
I decided to look at the astrocartography map for the time of the eclipse, just on the off chance that this eclipse had been focused somehow on Guinea and that part of Africa. Lo and behold!- the Sun/Moon/Saturn Conjunction was quite exactly on the Midheaven in the Guinea area of Africa! Soon after a virulent reemergence of the Ebola virus.
You can see it clearly on this chart for Giunea’s capital at the time of the eclipse:
There’s another notable layer to this, pointed out by a member of the facebook group. The actual path of totality ran very close to Guinea, and, as you can see below, arrived at the point of maximum eclipse pretty much where that path is closest to Guinea.
The plot thickens….
The first case of Ebola diagnosed in America occurred in the Dallas area of Texas. At the time of this eclipse the Sun, Moon and Saturn (and the ominous Mars/Pluto Midpoint) were on the Ascendant in Dallas!!
What I find completely incredible is the fact that although the factors involved in the eclipse are on the Ascendant in places far north and south of Dallas, it seems to me that that southern part of North America is more or less on that same eclipse path that comes to close to Guinea, where the point of maximum eclipse occurred.
In 2011 I spent four months in India on something like an astrological pilgrimage. I consulted with several astrologers to get an insight into how they work, and to deepen my own understanding of Jyotish. This video was taken in the sacred town of Vrindavan, where Krishna is said have spent his childhood, on the banks of the Yamuna river.
Mars is approaching a Conjunction with Saturn which becomes exact on the 25th of August 2014, and it so happens that it’s New Moon (Sun Conjunct Moon) on that same day, which may well intensify the effect. New Moons and Full Moons are like windows that open and allow the general cosmic pattern at the time to impress itself on the world with greater than usual impact. The last time these two malefics were thus conjoined South Africa was shaken by the events at Marikana, in which dozens of striking miners were brutally killed by policemen. You can read more about that incident here: http://www.richardfidler.com/mars-conjunct-saturn-and-the-violence-at-a-south-african-mine/
Don’t panic now, but do keep yourself reigned in at this time if you’re strongly under Taurus or Scorpio in your birth chart, in terms of conventional western astrology (particularly if you have Sun, Moon or Ascendant around the middle part of Taurus or Scorpio).
In a nutshell, the most constructive expression of a meeting of Mars and Saturn is hard work, disciplined effort, and tenacity. The more harmful manifestations range from acute frustration to ruthlessness or cruelty in some form. ‘The devil has work for idle hands‘, we are told, and under this particular influence that proverb is worth remembering. You can move mountains under Mars/Saturn, but you may also run headlong into brick walls. It takes care and self-control to make this energy work well.
I notice, at the risk of overwhelming the layman,that there’s a Yod configuration involving Mercury, Mars, Saturn and Uranus, and this New Moon (Sun/Moon Conjunction) is 45 degrees from (Semi-Square) the midpoint of Mercury and Mars, and Mercury and Saturn. Uranus is a mere degree or so from exactly Opposite this hub of ‘highlighted communication effort’.
If you have planets in your birth located at or very close to 17 degrees of any sign of the zodiac (but especially 17 degrees of the Cardinal and Fixed signs), that planet will be powerfully triggered by this intense looking New Moon. This is also true of planets in a birth chart that are located very near 2 degrees of the Mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius & Pisces).
A theme of communication challenges seems to be described here. Impatience can make one a poor speaker and a poor listener, and under this type of influence views and opinions will be expressed with bluntness, audacity and maybe sarcasm. Commuting is hazardous if people are edgy and irritated. However, for those poised to apply themselves voluntarily, and cheerfully, to rigorous and disciplined mental or educational work, this alignment of planetary influences could represent a surge of mental energy and focus that can support and facilitate intellectual achievement. The trick is to be extremely flexible and promptly adaptable to new developments, while remaining firmly committed to applying the discipline needed to make innovative new ideas and the surge of mental energy and effort fruitful. It would require strong nerves. It’s all too easy to get overstimulated under these circumstances. Return to center if you find yourself embroiled in a petty disagreement; there’s bound to be something useful to apply your mind to!
Looking at this more globally, Saturn and Uranus have been locked in a Quincunx (150 degree) aspect since roughly late June 2014, and this may be contributing to the acute global stress centered around the recently escalated Israeli-Palestine conflict. This Mars/Saturn Conjunction (which effectively becomes a short sharp spike in the simmering Saturn/Uranus tension) looks somewhat more ominous against the backdrop of such a volatile situation.
Here’s a post from a long abandoned blog of yore, regarding Mars and Saturn in aspect: http://www.richardfidler.blogspot.com/2009/04/missile-launches-and-marssaturn-aspects.html
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.
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.
In 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.
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.
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:
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.
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.