Introduction to Vedic Astrology (webinar course): 5, 12 & 19 Nov 2014

Ganesh1081[1]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:

For bookings or queries email Richard Fidler at

The Astrology of the Ebola Outbreak of 2014

Total Solar Eclipse of 3 November 2013 directly above Guinea- the birth moment of the outbreak:

Eclipse imageI 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.

world map showing eclipse path

Africa astrocartography for Nov 13 eclipse

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…”

Sun, Moon and Saturn exactly on MC in Guinea at time of eclipse. Note that this eclipse occurred on the Mars/Pluto Midpoint
Sun, Moon and Saturn exactly on MC in Guinea at time of eclipse. Note that this eclipse occurred on the Mars/Pluto Midpoint

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.

Ebola in Dallas eclipse path

At the time of the Solar Eclipse of 3 November 2013 the Sun, Moon and Saturn were in the Ascendant in Dallas
At the time of the Solar Eclipse of 3 November 2013 the Sun, Moon and Saturn were in the Ascendant in Dallas

 Ebola in America Fort Worth Dallas

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’.

Sidereal Mutable Grand Cross 25 April 2014

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.

Mercury and Neptune on the Descendant near Guinea in the Equinox chart
Mercury and Neptune on the Descendant near Guinea in the Equinox chart

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.

the Moon and Saturn in Conjunction in the Equinox chart, not very far from the Nov 2013 eclipse point
the Moon and Saturn in Conjunction in the Equinox chart, not very far from the Nov 2013 eclipse point


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.

Mars arrives at the Eclipse degree around mid-August 2014
Mars arrives at the Eclipse degree around mid-August 2014

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.

Saturn was on the Descendant in Dallas in the chart for the Equinox of 23 Sept 2014
Saturn was on the Descendant in Dallas in the chart for the Equinox of 23 Sept 2014


Saturn is close the Descendant in Dallas in the 23 Sept 2014 Equinox Chart
Saturn is close the Descendant in Dallas in the 23 Sept 2014 Equinox Chart

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…