Saturn enters Scorpio

On the 5th of October 2012 Saturn enters the sign Scorpio; in terms the Tropical Zodiac, that is.

It may be a confusing point to the lay person, but there are two distinctly different ways of positioning the zodiac signs along the ecliptic. The Tropical Zodiac, used by practically all western astrologers, is not associated with the visible zodiacal constellations in any way other than the sharing of names and symbols. The beginning point of the Tropical Zodiac, the first degree of Aries, is marked or determined by the Sun’s position along the ecliptic at the time of the Northern Hemisphere’s Spring Equinox, which occurs every year around the 21st of March.

That is why the Sun ‘enters’ Aries at the time of the Equinox every year. It’s actually the Equinox that is defining the location of Aries, there is no Aries there in the sky for the Sun to enter!

In fact, if you were able to see the stars behind the Sun on the 21st of March you would find there the constellation of Pisces.

Now, practically all Vedic astrologers, along with a small group of western astrologers using otherwise western methods, use what is known as the Sidereal Zodiac. Like the Tropical Zodiac used by western astrologers, the Sidereal Zodiac divides the ecliptic into twelve equal segments, each comprising 30 degrees of the 360 degree circle. Like the Tropical Zodiac the Sidereal Zodiac uses a Ram as the symbol for the first sign, a Bull for the second, Twins for the third, and so on. The difference lies in the astronomical factors that determine the location of these twelfths of the ecliptic circle. The Sidereal Zodiac aligns it’s signs with the actual visible Zodiacal Constellations (which are not equal twelfths of the ecliptic circle).

Vedic astrology takes the star Spica as the last degree of Virgo, and the point 180 degrees from it marks the 1st degree of (Sidereal) Aries.

The above diagram shows the Tropical Zodiac on the inner wheel and the Sidereal Zodiac on the outer wheel. The red arrows show the respective locations of the 1st degree of Aries in the two zodiacs.

This long digression is meant to clarify that Saturn is entering Tropical Scorpio, and that for most of it’s journey through Scorpio during the coming 2-3 years it will be in Sidereal Libra….

The Tropical vs. Sidereal debate is a perpetually simmering one amongst astrologers. I have been won over by the Sidereal side, not by virtue of any rationale, but simply through testing and comparison of the two zodiacs.

I am, however, not convinced that the Tropical Zodiac is invalid, even though I don’t routinely use it. The Zodiac is a grand abstract idea that reveals archetypal processes that all cosmoses adhere to. It can be superimposed on just about any natural cycle, process or entity, and the seasonal cycle the Tropical Zodiac is based on certainly qualifies, I suppose.

So, Saturn entering Tropical Scorpio is really a special geometric angle (a Quincunx or Inconjunct) which Saturn there forms to the ‘Aries Point’, the 1st degree of Tropical Aries, so I would consider this ingress time (roughly put, early October 2012) particularly significant and sensitive. There may be conspicuous global events, not improbably related to financial institutions and the global economy, since banking is one of the things associated with Scorpio. There may be a near desperate attempt to maintain control and secrecy.

Now, quite apart from all this convoluted technical discussion around what the zodiac is and where it is or should be located, a key consideration is the fact that people with important planets (especially the Sun, Moon or Ascendant) in the sign Scorpio (of their western astrological charts) will be undergoing a type of ‘trial by the scythe of the grim reaper’. Ok, that may be putting it too harshly, but Saturn is the Lord that ‘taketh away‘ what we may need to do without, even though we may very reluctantly surrender and renounce as he commands.

The Universe doesn’t waste energy and doesn’t harm us for no reason. There is almost invariably profound purpose behind seeming disaster. In fact, the greatness of some of history’s greatest souls was forged in the crucible of such Saturn transits as Scorpio types will in due course be enduring. It’s a cold fact.


p.s.- If you have Moon in Scorpio (in your western chart), take heart! Robert Svoboda graciously published a remedy for your imminent encounter with Saturn, and this ‘therapeutic myth’ reveals beautifully how Saturn helps (or rather provokes) us to dig deeper in ourselves (when satisfaction in the outer world eludes us), to where the real gold lies…

The explosive Full Moon of 30 September 2012

The Full Moon of 30 September 2012 is quite striking! It tightly plugs into the gradually unfolding Uranus/Pluto Square, about which astrologers have for some time been fussing and which is viewed as an indication of ‘revolution’, such as we’ve witnessed in the rebellions in the middle east and also a new wave of public defiance and protest in the west. Well, the way this Full Moon (or Sun/Moon Opposition) is entangled with the Uranus/Pluto Square would seem to indicate a very potent short term trigger to the looming forces of dramatic change represented by the Uranus/Pluto Square.

I won’t pretend to know what’s going to happen, but I will say it’s worth paying attention to this Full Moon as it’s likely to be a catalyst of sorts for the release of a whole chunk of ‘revolution’; and, if you have key planets in your chart around 5-7 degrees of Cardinal Signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn), you are likely to personally feel it’s effects!

The Natal Chart of King Henry VIII

I’ve been watching The Tudors on DVD, and, well, I realized that my knowledge of that period in English history is rather vague, so I did a little googling….

Lo and behold, actually has a chart for Henry VIII! It has a AA rating, so it’s likely to be fairly accurate. Here’s the western chart (date presented in the Julian calendar) as given by the astrodatabank.

Although not particularly tight, the Moon is applying to a Square with the Sun; it’s certainly within orb being less than 4 degrees from exact. This at the outset marks Henry as an impatient and restless person, prone to abrupt changes of feeling and direction, and likely to experience tension in personal relationships.

Focusing on the closest orbed aspects the Mercury/Saturn Opposition stands out, as does the T-Square formed by Mars Squaring the Jupiter/Neptune Opposition. Whatever sober practical thinking the Mercury/Saturn Opposition may show seems liable to being derailed by the unrealistic megalomania that this particular T-Square can induce. Continue reading The Natal Chart of King Henry VIII

Medical Astrology

“With us there was a doctor of physic; 
In all this world was none like him to pick 
For talk of medicine and surgery; 
For he was grounded in astronomy. 
He often kept a patient from the pall 
By horoscopes and magic natural.

Within the houses for his sick patient. 
He knew the cause of every malady, 
Were it of hot or cold, of moist or dry, 
And where engendered, and of what humour; 
He was a very good practitioner…”

-Geoffrey Chaucer- The Canterbury Tales


From a wonderful little book entitled “The Story of Astrology”, by Manly P. Hall, we gather the following anecdote, “related by Rudyard Kipling to a select company of doctors, members of the Royal Society of Medicine, at the Hotel Mayfair in London”.

Nicholas Culpepper, an astrologer-physician, was in practice in Spitalfields, and it happened that a friend’s maid-servant fell sick, which the local practitioner had diagnosed as plague. Culpepper was called in as a second opinion. When he arrived the family were packing up the beds, preparatory to going away and leaving the girl to die. He took charge. There was no silly nonsense about taking or looking for the characteristic plague tongue. He only asked at what hour the young woman had taken to her bed. He then erected a horoscope, and inquired of the face of the heavens how the malady might prove. The face of the heavens indicated that it was not the plague, but just smallpox, which our ancestors treated as lightly as we do. And smallpox it turned out to be. So the family came back with their bedding and lived happily ever after, the girl recovered…

Is it possible that astrology is the baby that was thrown out with the bathwater of medieval medical superstition?

Apparently Hippocrates said: “He who does not understand astrology is not a doctor but a fool.”

Are there any doctors who have thoroughly explored astrology who would refute that astrology can contribute meaningfully to medical science? I have yet to meet one…