Saturday, 3 December 2011

Further proof that Stonehenge may have been dedicated to sun worship

Check out this interesting article about Stonehenge and sun worship...

Secret history of Stonehenge revealed

By David Keys

Extraordinary new discoveries are shedding new light on why Britain’s most famous ancient site, Stonehenge, was built – and when.

Current research is now suggesting that Stonehenge may already have been an important sacred site at least 500 years before the first Stone circle was erected – and that the sanctity of its location may have determined the layout of key aspects of the surrounding sacred landscape.

What’s more, the new investigation – being carried out by archaeologists from the universities’ of Birmingham, Bradford and Vienna – massively increases the evidence linking Stonehenge to pre-historic solar religious beliefs. It increases the likelihood that the site was originally and primarily associated with sun worship

The investigations have also enabled archaeologists to putatively reconstruct the detailed route of a possible religious procession or other ritual event which they suspect may have taken place annually to the north of Stonehenge.

That putative pre-historic religious ‘procession’ (or, more specifically, the evidence suggesting its route) has implications for understanding Stonehenge’s prehistoric religious function – and suggests that the significance of the site Stonehenge now occupies emerged earlier than has previously been appreciated.

The crucial new archaeological evidence was discovered during on-going survey work around Stonehenge in which archaeologists have been ‘x-raying’ the ground, using ground-penetrating radar and other geophysical investigative techniques. As the archaeological team from Birmingham and Vienna were using these high-tech systems to map the interior of a major prehistoric enclosure (the so-called ‘Cursus’) near Stonehenge, they discovered two great pits, one towards the enclosure’s eastern end, the other nearer its western end.

When they modelled the relationship between these newly-discovered Cursus pits and Stonehenge on their computer system, they realised that, viewed from the so-called ‘Heel Stone’ at Stonehenge, the pits were aligned with sunrise and sunset on the longest day of the year – the summer solstice (midsummer’s day). The chances of those two alignments being purely coincidental are extremely low.

The archaeologists then began to speculate as to what sort of ritual or ceremonial activity might have been carried out at and between the two pits. In many areas of the world, ancient religious and other ceremonies sometimes involved ceremonially processing round the perimeters of monuments. The archaeologists therefore thought it possible that the prehistoric celebrants at the Cursus might have perambulated between the two pits by processing around the perimeter of the Cursus.

Initially this was pure speculation – but then it was realized that there was, potentially a way of trying to test the idea. On midsummer’s day there are in fact three key alignments – not just sunrise and sunset, but also midday (the highest point the sun reaches in its annual cycle). For at noon the key alignment should be due south.

One way to test the ‘procession’ theory (or at least its route) was for the archaeologists to demonstrate that the midway point on that route had indeed a special relationship with Stonehenge (just as the two pits – the start and end point of the route – had). The ‘eureka moment’ came when the computer calculations revealed that the midway point (the noon point) on the route aligned directly with the centre of Stonehenge, which was precisely due south.

This realization that the sun hovering over the site of Stonehenge at its highest point in the year appears to have been of great importance to prehistoric people, is itself of potential significance. For it suggests that the site’s association with the veneration of the sun was perhaps even greater than previously realized.

But the discovery of the Cursus pits, the discovery of the solar alignments and of the putative ‘processional’ route, reveals something else as well – something that could potentially turn the accepted chronology of the Stonehenge landscape on its head.

For decades, modern archaeology has held that Stonehenge was a relative latecomer to the area – and that the other large monument in that landscape – the Cursus – pre-dated it by up to 500 years.

However, the implication of the new evidence is that, in a sense, the story may have been the other way round, i.e. that the site of Stonehenge was sacred before the Cursus was built, says Birmingham archaeologist, Dr. Henry Chapman, who has been modelling the alignments on the computerized reconstructions of the Stonehenge landscape

The argument for this is simple, yet persuasive. Because the ‘due south’ noon alignment of the ‘procession’ route’s mid-point could not occur if the Cursus itself had different dimensions, the design of that monument has to have been conceived specifically to attain that mid-point alignment with the centre of Stonehenge.

What’s more, if that is so, the Stonehenge Heel Stone location had to have been of ritual significance before the Cursus pits were dug (because their alignments are as perceived specifically from the Heel Stone).

Those two facts, when taken together, therefore imply that the site, later occupied by the stones of Stonehenge, was already sacred before construction work began on the Cursus. Unless the midday alignment is a pure coincidence (which is unlikely), it would imply that the Stonehenge site’s sacred status is at least 500 years older than previously thought – a fact which raises an intriguing possibility.

For 45 years ago, archaeologists found an 8000 BC Mesolithic (‘Middle’ Stone Age) ritual site in what is now Stonehenge’s car park. The five thousand year gap between that Mesolithic sacred site and Stonehenge itself meant that most archaeologists thought that ‘sacred’ continuity between the two was inherently unlikely. But, with the new discoveries, the time gap has potentially narrowed. Indeed, it’s not known for how long the site of Stonehenge was sacred prior to the construction of the Cursus. So, very long term traditions of geographical sanctity in relation to Britain’s and the world’s best known ancient monument, may now need to be considered.

The University of Birmingham Stonehenge area survey - the largest of its type ever carried out anywhere in the world – will take a further two years to complete, says Professor Vince Gaffney, the director the project.

Virtually every square meter in a five square mile area surrounding the world most famous pre-historic monument will be examined geophysically to a depth of up to two metres, he says.

It’s anticipated that dozens, potentially hundreds of previously unknown sites will be discovered as a result of the operation.

The ongoing discoveries in Stonehenge’s sacred prehistoric landscape – being made by Birmingham’s archaeologists and colleagues from the University of Vienna’s Ludwig Boltzmann Institute – are expected to transform scholars’ understanding of the famous monument’s origins, history and meaning.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Archaeologists now think that religion sparked off civilisation and not the other way round...

This interesting article on the National Geographic website looks at the oldest known religious site in the world, Göbekli Tepe, and what it can potentially tell us about the origins of Neolithic civilisation, and in turn, our own...

Visit the National Geographic site to read the full article.

For a podcast interview with the author, Charles C. Mann, visit:

Saturday, 9 April 2011

News Story: Mysterious light spotted during Japan earthquake

Yahoo! NewsWritten by Orlando ParfittA mysterious flashing light was captured on video over Japan as yet another earthquake hit the beleaguered country on Thursday, but what was it?See video of light

The footage clearly shows a ball of light pulsing for around eight seconds on the
in Tokyo during the aftershock.

It registered 7.1 on the Richter scale and struck 40 miles east of Sendai along the
same fault line as last month's quake.

We take a look at several theories as to what could have caused the bizarre
phenomenon, from the plausible to the wacky, and get some insight from an
expert seismologist.

Earthquake light

The most widely circulating explanation is that this was an 'earthquake light' -
literally a light that appears in the sky during times of seismic activity.

There have been a number of recorded instances of these - at Kalapana in 1975,
L'Aquilla in 2009 and Chile in 2010 - but the phenomenon is not universally
accepted in the scientific community.

Dr David Robinson, an earthquake researcher at Oxford University, told
Yahoo! News one reason why these might happen.

"The idea is that just before an earthquake, you might get some build up of stress
just prior to the event.

"People have invented all kinds of mechanisms whereby this stress gets released as
an electromagnetic excitation of the upper atmosphere, which can cause things like
lights appearing, similar to the Northern Lights."

The problem with this theory, said Dr Robinson, was that no-one has yet come up
with a plausible reason for why this actually happens. "Anything which is caused
by an unknown mechanism is dubious," he said.

A second issue is that while there have been several recorded instances of
'earthquake lights', they don't happen during every earthquake.

"There are satellites up there that record every thunderstorm that happens on
earth. If you're getting something similar to a flash of lightning during an
earthquake then they're going to measure it, but that's not happening."

There are a couple of other explanations that could explain this though. The
first concerns quartz. When tectonic plates containing the mineral rub against
each other, they create intense electric fields (called piezoelectricity). This could
manifest itself as flashes of light.

A second, tantalizing possibility is these lights could actually predict upcoming
quakes. This theory suggests that before a quake, the ground 'exhales' radon,
which results in light emissions in the atmosphere. Dr Robinson says this is
"clutching at straws" though.

He doesn't rule out earthquake lights, but feels the subject needs more study.

"Just because they can't be explained doesn't necessarily make them not true.
But until anyone comes up with a plausible mechanism it will be on the fringes
of earthquake study."

Electrical explosion

Another possible theory for the burst of light is that it was some kind of
electrical explosion. It's been speculated that the flash was an electrical
transformer exploding after being struck by the quake.

During Thursday'squake 3.6million homes in North East Japan area lost power,
traffic signals and road lights also stopped working. 900,000 houses were still
affected on Friday afternoon.

A spokesman for the Tohuku Electric Power Company said six power plants in the
area went down after the tremor and power lines throughout the area were
damaged, making this explanation a possibility.

A US 'superweapon'

We're into the outlandish territory now. Many commentators, including oddball
conspiracy theorist David Icke, have said the footage was evidence of 'Haarp'
(High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program).

Based in Alaska, this weather program was set up by the US Air Force, Navy and
University of Alaska to research the upper atmosphere (the ionosphere) with a view
to improving satellite communication.

Some have speculated that Haarp can physically change weather conditions, and
the project's been blamed for triggering floods, hurricanes, droughts, the earthquakes
in Haiti and Pakistan and even Gulf War Syndrome. Mind control is another one of
its supposed capabilities.

Suffice to say the events in Japan have also been attributed to this 'superweapon' -
with former governor of Minnesota and pro-wrestler Jesse Ventura telling Piers
Morgan recently:

"The US's HAARP weapon system can cause natural disasters, including
earthquakes and tsunamis like the one that happened in Japan."


Whenever grainy handheld footage of a glowing light in the sky surfaces, it's only a
matter of time before it's held up as evidence of UFOs. This video is no exception.

A quick YouTube search reveals a spate of alien sightings in the build up to the
Japan earthquake, with little green men spotted above Kyoto and the Sakurajima
Volcano. Even Chinese news agency Xinyua reported UFOs flying over Mount Fuji
in February.

An alien spacecraft was also spotted during recent Japanese news coverage of the
Earthquake, but this was later confirmed to be a helicopter.

Friday, 8 April 2011

The Religion of Science

The Times published an article yesterday called Astronomer faces fellow scientists' wrath after accepting £1 million religious prize. (7 Apr 11)

The astrophysicist in question, Lord Rees of Ludlow, the former Astronomer Royal, a self-confessed atheist (which of course does NOT preclude him from having spiritual beliefs - just not those that have a godhead or god figure of any kind, making him perfectly able to be a Buddhist, for instance, without in any way affecting his atheistic persuasions) was awarded the prize for his contribution to furthering our understanding of nature, the Universe, as well as 'life's spiritual dimension.'

What I did find remarkable was the accompanying commentary by Harry Kroto, a fellow scientist, who criticised Lord Rees for accepting the prize, saying:

'In my view, the Templeton Foundation awards its prize to the most prominent scientist who is prepared to say that they see no conflict between science and religion.'

He goes on to say, and this for me, was the most interesting statement, that:

'...nine out of ten eminent scientists [note - noone lowly within the scientific community, with perhaps less credibility] are atheist-freethinkers [read Richard Dawkins clones] for whom science is primarily about the reliable determination of truth. [my emphasis] For this, evidence is essential, and the conflict between truth (science) and congenital wishful thinking (religion) is an unethical one and irreconcilable.'

Theologians, no doubt, would have a field day with this statement - since when does science have a monopoly on truth?!!! However, this statement brings out into the open what many critics of what has been called the 'religion of science' have long been saying: in the West, we have actually come to believe that this is true.

Not only are there so many ways of thinking and viewing the world, along with different types of intelligences, than logic and cause-and effect or what has been termed 'linear' thinking, but not so long ago, there would have been NO conflict between science and religion. It is only since the so-called 'Enlightenment' that we have been conned into thinking that logic and empiricism = truth.

As Hamlet said to Horatio:

'There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.'
(Hamlet, Act I, Scene 1)

Scientists who continue to perpetuate this philosophy, for that is what it is, fail to realise the hubris in what they say, or the religious fervour with which they say it (oh, the irony!) - and may come to regret it in the coming years when what are now considered to be 'gospel' assumptions about the divisions between the world of spirit and matter begin to unravel (or dissolve, if Neptune in Pisces has anything to do about this!).

As one wise creature said in Ursula Le Guin's fabulous novel, 'The Left Hand of Darkness':

'They say here "all roads lead to Mishnory." To be sure, if you turn your back on Mishnory and walk away from it, you are still on the Mishnory road. To oppose vulgarity is inevitably to be vulgar.'

New earthquake in Japan

A powerful earthquake, measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale, took place yesterday at 11:22pm near Sendai in Japan, close to the centre of the large earthquake which occurred on the 1th of March.

Fortunately this time, there was no subsequent tsunami and fewer casualties or damage to buildings. However, it does suggest that the warning by geologists that another powerful event is likely to occur offshore in the region of Tokyo could well be more likely to happen in the near future.

Strangely, this earthquake took place just as the Moon entered Gemini, which is rather uncanny, as this mirrors events nearly a month earlier. In the first event, the Moon was at 0 degrees Gemini and this time, it was at 1.5 degrees Gemini, so very close. Coincidence or synchronicity?

I am not sure exactly what one can make of this from an astrology point of view - Gemini is an air sign and not really one traditionally associated with the symbolism of earthquakes or natural disasters. Perhaps one could say that, having just traversed the final degree of earth-sign Taurus prior to its Gemini ingress, it may have amplified Taurean energy? Or perhaps, looking at this from a slightly different perspective and say that magnetically or gravitationally, there is something about planetary bodies moving over that particular part of space that tends to upset the tectonic balance of that particular part of the world (though, of course, scientists would have none of this!) I suppose the only way to tell would be to see whether any further events take place when other planets cross that degree. The Sun is due to be at this position on the 21st of May, followed by Mercury on the 2nd/3rd of June. Let's wait and see...

What I can't help remarking on is the fact that the lunar nodes (in late Sagittarius and Gemini) were straddling the Ascendant-Descendant axis with Pluto in the vicinity, as they were during the Chile quake - again, is there anything in this or not?

The ruler of the chart, Jupiter, happened to be in a huddle with several other powerful planets (including the Sun, Mercury, Mars and Uranus, all in Aries), near to the IC, so in cosmological terms, deep underground - perhaps indicative of rumblings and grumblings below the surface?

Pluto, ruler of the underworld, was also making a square to Mars, ruler of Aries, between the first and 3rd houses - a very volatile combination often associated with violence, tyranny and accidents - which is a very apt aspect for such an event.

The Sun was also opposing Saturn, positioned near the midheaven position from below ground - a very strange configuration in a way. The Sun is clearly at its weakest power when at the midnight (as opposed to midheaven) position whilst Saturn, one of the so called malific planets, is very strong, being in Libra - the sign of its exaltation, and in the 10th house - the house it traditionally rules, so also is also a strong omen that the forces of darkness are stronger than those of light. This is symbolically significant for me because in my dissertation, I wrote that Saturn, in both alchemy and ancient astrology, had a very particular relationship with the Sun, and was sometimes referred to as the Black Sun...Hmmm...

Which reminds me, I MUST get round to writing that blog about Saturn and the Japan birthcharts and Hiroshima.

At any rate, what this all means remains to be seen. Let's wait until May before we draw any further conclusions. (How 'scientific' of me!)

Thursday, 31 March 2011

The Great Wave - an Archetypal Image of Japan?

Throughout the Japanese quake ordeal, this image kept coming into my mind...

It is a woodcut by the Japanese artist, Katsushika Hokusai called "The Great Wave at Kanagawa." Some have interpreted this to be a depiction of a tsunami, although others beg to differ. Take this write-up from Wikipedia as an example:
"Behind the Great Wave at Kanagawa" (神奈川沖波裏), from 36 Views of Mount Fuji, Color woodcut, 10 x 15 in; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Although it is often used in tsunami literature, there is no reason to suspect that Hokusai intended it to be interpreted in that way. The waves in this work are sometimes mistakenly referred to as tsunami (津波), but they are more accurately called okinami (沖波), great off-shore waves."
It now hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Below is their interpretation of it:
The Great Wave at Kanagawa (from a Series of Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji), Edo period (1615–1868), ca. 1831–33
Katsushika Hokusai (Japanese, 1760–1849); Published by Eijudo
Polychrome ink and color on paper

The preeminence of this print—said to have inspired both Debussy's La Mer and Rilke's Der Berg—can be attributed, in addition to its sheer graphic beauty, to the compelling force of the contrast between the wave and the mountain. The turbulent wave seems to tower above the viewer, whereas the tiny stable pyramid of Mount Fuji sits in the distance. The eternal mountain is envisioned in a single moment frozen in time. Hokusai characteristically cast a traditional theme in a novel interpretation. In the traditional meisho-e (scene of a famous place), Mount Fuji was always the focus of the composition. Hokusai inventively inverted this formula and positioned a small Mount Fuji within the midst of a thundering seascape. Foundering among the great waves are three boats thought to be barges conveying fish from the southern islands of Edo. Thus a scene of everyday labor is grafted onto the seascape view of the mountain.
Perhaps a graphic depiction of the water element 'eclipsing' or becoming stronger than that of earth - an elemental imbalance?

I still think it is odd that this image seems to have seeped into the collective consciousness of many people of my generation in recent years. A former colleague of mine introduced me to it a few years ago - in fact, within a few months of September the 11th 2001 - when talking about Japanese architecture. More recently, a colleague of mine pinned this image up on her pinboard at work. Around September 2010, she was struck down by a mysterious illness involving epileptic-like fits that is still not fully diagnosed...and she never came back to work...I wonder what made her choose it?


Another astrologer's take on Astrology and the Quakes

I thought this article by Ed Tamplin was fairly interesting. (

It shows that to try to use a scientific model within the context of astrology i.e. trying to isolate or reduce the significator of the event to just ONE astrological phenomenon, and then attempting to replicate these results to other similar disasters just doesn't work...

Hmm, perhaps I need to re-examine my own 'take' on the lunar nodes and stop trying to make soli-lunar phenomena into a 'one size fits all' model for explaining all earthquakes everywhere...Perhaps a pointless exercise?

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Supermoon phenomenon and the Japan earthquake

A recent prediction by astrologer, Richard Nolle about the link between the impending 'Supermoon' on the 19th of March and natural disasters such as the Japan quake and tsunami of the 11th of March has sparked some controversy in the press of late.

The Full Moon on the 19th of March 2011 will be the closest that the Moon has gotten to the earth in approximately 18 years (close to the length of one Saros cycle in terms of eclipses). Naturally this has led to speculation that its gravitational pull on the liquid beneath the earth's surface will be greater, thus triggering volcanic eruptions and earthquakes as well as phenomena such as tsunami's.

NASA scientists, however, beg to differ, saying that even the combined gravitational pull of the Sun and Moon (which straddle either side of the earth during any Full Moon) is not enough to affect tectonic plate movement. See this article: NASA Scientist Explains Science Behind 'Supermoon' Phenomenon.

Having said that, although I should make it clear that I am extremely sorry for the devastation it has brought to the people of Japan and do not wish to make light of this terrible tragedy, it is interesting that the earthquake itself was enough to affect the earth's axis, shortening the day by a few microseconds. (See: Day the Earth moved: How the earthquake tilted the world's axis by 25cm (and could even cost us a microsecond a day)

Naturally such arguments are based on standard 'cause and effect' models, rather than the cosmic sympathy paradigm used by astrologers that doesn't involve 'rays' of any kind, so the two camps are actually speaking different languages. Or rather, because scientists are not able to physically 'measure' the relationship between the Moon and the Earth beyond that of gravity (and opposed to any other more sensitive or subtle relationship that might exist between them) they are not willing to admit the possibility that there may be a connection that they are not yet aware of. Which is typical I s'pose. On the one hand, they are not prepared to speculate beyond what they know, which is fair enough. However, they always act as if they have the definitive answer, which is not so cool as far as I am concerned, because in a lot of circumstances, they say stuff as if it were the final word on something, only for that theory to be disproved several years later.

As Stephen Forrest recently put it, rather pithily: "There was a time when the 'recognized authorities' knew that the earth was flat, that Issac Newton said it all, and that heroin and cocaine were cutting edge medicines . . ." Say no more!

I don't think astrologers would mind so much if they were just more honest about the limitations of the scientific model, as well as how relative it actually is. If anyone doubts that for a minute, watch this documentary and you'll see what I mean. (See: BBC Horizon - What is One Degree?)

Of course, astrologers can be just as bad when it comes to claiming that astrology offers a failsafe way to predict future events. Plainly, in practice, this is not always the case. Astrology is a tricky and slippery business, as I have discovered on numerous occasions, including this one, where I have ended up re-calculating the Quake chart about three times!

Astrology is not simply an ancient science or technique, as some like to argue for the sake of credibility (in a world where science and rationalism are so highly valued, astrologers and those who value the role of intuition and imagination, are often ridiculed, and thus try to find a legitimised place within that society) - it is a divination system and as such, depends on an animistic worldview, which may include spirits, angels and the ideal of everything, including planets, having soul and consciousness. It also often surreptitiously implicates the astrologer themself in some way. A case in point is this chart, which has ended up mimicking the angles in my own natal chart . Strangely, this earthquake also occurred exactly one month after a rather dramatic event in my own life, showing me the subtle connection between perceiver and what is perceived that some quantum physics studies have some clearly illustrated, to the horror of many mainstream scientists.

At any rate, without wishing to get involved in that debate again (See my previous posting on Solar Flares) I thought we might look at a chart for the Japan quake to see if it has anything symbolic to say to us about the quake...

The quake took place at 14:46pm about 100 kms off the coast of Sendai, Honshu. As far as I can tell, the co-ordinates for it are as follows: 38.322°N, 142.369°E. These are according to the United States Geological Survey’s (USGS) Earthquake Hazards Programme.

Significantly, the chart has Leo rising, pointing to issues of leadership, especially kingship. It is common knowledge that in recent years, Japan has had a relatively large number of leadership/government changes and has slowly been losing its position as the world's third superpower, thanks to the rise of its neighbour, China. In a recent interview on BBC Radio 4, Henry Tricks, the head of The Economist's Japan Bureau, said:

Although Japan is still a tremendous powerhouse....more recently, the picture that the outside world has of Japan is a much bleaker one - one of economic stagnation and deflation, and this to a certain extent, represents the problem that Japan faces in terms of being the fastest ageing country on earth, the country with one of the lowest birth rates on earth, and politically, there's been a turnover of governments that is breathtaking in its speed , and shocking in the sense that I think in the last 20 years, there have been 14 prime ministers....It reflects a growing sense that Japan has lost its way...
(See: BBC Radio 4 - Japan's Food Dilemma)

Note the theme of old vs young, birth vs old age mentioned here, which chimes in with Japan's natal chart's (I am using Marjorie Orr's info which is 12 noon on 11 February 1889, Tokyo) nodal axis, which falls in the signs of Cancer and Capricorn....More on this in the next posting when we discuss Saturn in detail.

The new prime minister, Naoto Kan, only recently came to power, succeeding the Richard Gere-like figure of Junichiro Koizumi, who was only in power for 5 years (2001-6). Commentators are already saying that, like Hurricane Katrina did for George W. Bush, this event has the potential to make or break the current regime and affect Japanese politics for years to come. (See: Post-tsunami Japan looks to PM Kan for leadership)

Interestingly, Japan's current Emperor, gave a speech on TV five days after the disaster - a rare appearance from this essentially ceremonial figurehead. But what is interesting from our point of view, is that the Japanese Imperial family traces its ancestry back to Jimmu, the first mythical emperor, who in turn is said to be descended from the Sun Goddess, Amaterasu. Known as the 'land of the rising sun', Japan's national flag is a red sun disc on a white background. Sun symbolism is known to have been associated with the Imperial court since at least the 7th century. A sense of this divine connection is well-expressed in this article written for Time magazine in 1945 about the role of the Emperor during World War II called: Japan: The God-Emperor -well worth a read. It is perhaps apt then that in this chart, the ruler of the Leo Ascendant or rising sign, is the Sun.

In this chart, the Sun is in Pisces in the eighth house. During my research into my dissertation, I discovered, thanks to Deborah Houlding's Book, Temples of the Sky, that the Eighth House was known by some Graeco-Roman astrologers, including Firmicus Maternus, as Epicataphora, which is Greek for 'falling down into the Underworld.'

Houlding writes:
Significantly,... Firmicus [Maternus] also oncludes older Greek terminology, which informs us that the 8th house was known as Epicataphora , which means 'falling down into the Underworld.' The 2nd house was known as Anaphora,'rising up from the Underworld,' illustrating that although both were regarded as portals to the underworld and incorporated darker elements in their symbolism, there was an important distinction - the 8th was the portal of entry, the 2nd of release.
Getting back to the Sun and its relationship with the earth, an article in the Japan Times suggests that originally, the Japanese Imperial clan initially worshipped an earth-bound agricultural god/kami, before their heads were turned skyward by the Koreans.

According to Michael Hoffman,
"Among the various fifth- and sixth- century noble clans, over which the Imperial clan had as yet failed to establish more than nominal supremacy, were several that worshiped an ancestral sun.

The Imperial clan, at this stage, did not. Its primary deity was the agricultural kami Takamimusubi. It was contact with Korea, Matsumae believes, that reoriented the royal family's gaze from the earth sunward.

Sun worship was common in the Korean kingdoms," he explains, "and royal founding ancestors were frequently named as children of the sun. In order to deal with these kings on an equal basis, the Yamato rulers had to claim lineage of equal dignity.

The sun's majesty was self-evident; the earth's apparently was not."

Perhaps this earthquake, on a symbolic level, could be seen as the earth gods taking revenge for being discarded and ignored?

Here it is perhaps worth mentioning that the same Radio 4 programme I mentioned earlier also talked about the growing food crisis in the world and how Japan needed to re-look at its current food importation practices (foreign relations) and the continuing trends towards eating more meat and Westernised food, as opposed to traditional staples such as rice - which in ancient times, was considered to have a soul and to be an almost 'holy' food. This has meant that the Japanese have been slowly redefining what it means to be Japanese because of their slow Westernisation and changing food practices. In the Quake chart, we have Taurus on the Midheaven, suggesting that perhaps this is something that the Japanese should strive for once they recover from this disaster? In order to find more sustainable ways of continuing to feed its population and maintain a strong economy in the future - and of course, both food and economic matters (particularly banking, agriculture and property) are very much governed by Taurus. Certainly, in the wake of the quake, much of the news coverage turned both to the lack of food supplies, mainly due to the disruption to exportation and importation of goods, as well as the sharp drops in Japan's financial indicators on the global financial markets and the Bank of Japan's attempts to stave off a crash - all Taurean-ruled stuff.

However, in terms of the earthquake itself, I think the most important significator in the chart is Uranus, planet of disruption and chaos. Uranus is making a conjunction to Mercury and, like the Sun, is also located in the eighth house, along with the stellium of planets I mentioned earlier, including the Sun and Mars. The Uranus-Mercury conjunction also makes a t-square to the lunar nodes, and given the links to the nodes in other quakes (see, for example, my post on Insomnia and the Chile Quake, as well as the follow-on - The Lunar Nodes Continued) it does not surprise me that this combination of planets might somehow be connected to the earthquake. Both are located in the 'Underworld,' it is an apt description of a monster rumbling below the surface, causing natural disasters above the surface. Strangely, the Sun is completely unaspected, suggesting a sort of isolation, Japan being cut off from its cultural heritage and leadership on some level...Or the leadership seeming to be somehow removed or detached from its people emotionally in the wake of the disaster, as George Bush was accused of being after Katrina.

Turning to the tsunami, it may be significant that the Moon, ruler of the tides, is making a square (frictious) angle to Neptune, god of the ocean, which in turn, is trine the nodal axis and conjunct Chiron. Neptune and Chiron are to be found in the seventh house of the 'other,' of relationships both with friends and enemies. Along with a stellium of other planets in Pisces, including the Sun and Mercury, this suggests a heavy emphasis on the ocean and water-ruled phenomena such as the water supply, which of course has been threatened in the wake of the nuclear disaster. It also suggests that the waves themselves may have taken on a sort of animistic identity - a life of their own - and to those running away from its grip, it must have felt like some sort of hungry sea monster swallowing everything in its path...

The latter, positive aspects between Chiron and the nodes suggest that out of these fated (nodes) actions, healing can come - Chiron representing a significant wound that needs caring for, as well as gurus or teachers who have much wisdom to impart. It will be interesting to watch and see if any philosophical, healing or religious figure emerges in the months to come who can offer Japan some guidance in how to, for instance, move past the great wound that was Hiroshima - another cultural memory that has come to the fore with the nuclear explosions generated as a consequence of this natural disaster.

Naturally, with the focus firmly on the explosions at the Fukushima nuclear plant, one has to consider the role of Pluto in the Quake chart. Although close to the north node, Pluto is not actually forming a conjunction, so we cannot say that it plays into the nodal axis the way that it did in the Chile chart. It is in Capricorn, ruled by Saturn in the 5th house of the chart - which is associated, ironically, with birth, pleasure, as well as good fortune. However, it is also square both to Jupiter, the planet of good luck, and to Mercury, which we have already established, is conjunct to Uranus. Naturally, with radiation sickness becoming a worry, its is perhaps symbolically apt that Capricorn happens to be the sign ruling the 6th house cusp - the house of health, illness and daily life - and, in traditional astrology, is the house of bad fortune. (See for example, Vettius Valens or Firmicus Maternus)

As I mentioned earlier, Pluto rules the sign of Scorpio, which in this chart, governs the 4th house cusp or IC, which elsewhere, I have described as the darkest part of the chart - perhaps apt for such a dark 'planet'. This is the house of property, family and wealth. It is also the house associated with endings in horary astrology - the end of the matter, as well as death, so perhaps it is the nuclear story that will be what defines this particular chapter in Japan's history? This seems to be confirmed by the square to Mercury and Jupiter (albeit that the orb is quite wide to Mercury - 5 degrees) - the latter falling in the 9th house of learning, culture and beliefs...

Naturally, Uranium, is also a key mineral used in the nuclear process and so Uranus must also be seen as a secondary indicator of the nuclear meltdown, which was, in itself, a by-product of the earthquake.

Jupiter is approaching an opposition with Saturn (with an orb of 5 degrees) which is in the 3rd house of communications. Clearly this disaster, which is now being billed as worse than the Three Mile Island event, and on a par with Chernobyl in terms of scale, is not going to result in good PR or improved support for the current regime - according to reports, voter support for the Prime Minister and the centrist Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), which he leads, had sunk to around 20% before all this happened, so this may well be the straw that breaks the camel's back. My sense is that, in terms of timing, that the the nuclear disaster is likely to reach its peak when these aspects perfect or reach exactitude....

One ray of hope may lie in the grand trine between the lunar nodes, Neptune and the Part of Fortune - also in Libra in the 3rd house of local communities and communication, along with Saturn. This large and harmonious triangle feeds into a diamond, with a minor grand trine created by the north node, Neptune and the part of Fortune.

According to Dorian Greenbaum, a scholar of Vettius Valens, 'The Lot of Fortune is calculated by taking the arc from Sun to Moon by day and projecting it from the Hour-marker; by night from Moon to Sun.' Greenbaum writes that Vettius Valens interpreted it as follows:

'The Lot of Fortune, being connected to the Moon and the physical body, is able to show physical well-being and acquisition of goods, which presumably will lead to some kind of happiness.'

Essentially, it is about worldly fortune and good health, which bodes well in the 3rd house - the house in which the Moon is said to rejoice. This perhaps suggests that this event will eventually bring local communities closer together and get the notoriously Stoic and repressed Japanese to express their feelings a bit more openly - with each other and with the world.

In the next posting, I wish to look more closely at the role of Saturn and it relationship/synastry to previous charts for significant nuclear events involving Japan, including the bombing of Hiroshima...

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Solar Flare Activity

Putting aside the astrological activity of the Moon briefly, it would seem as though the Sun is once more stirring up life on earth...

The BBC today reported that three solar flares, including a so-called X-flare - the strongest type of flare, and the biggest of its kind since 2006, will be reaching the earth today and tomorrow. The ultra-violet radiation from this type of activity has the potential to knock out power grids and disrupt the workings of communications and technological equipment such as satellites. More information on how this occurs can be found here:

A multi-media video of this flare in action can also be viewed on the NASA website.

I can personally report my telephone handset beeping as if it was being put back in the cradle several times this afternoon, even though nobody was touching it at the time.

From an astrological point of view, I find this interesting for two reasons: firstly, the Sun is currently in Aquarius - a sign associated with technology via its ruler, Uranus. Secondly, from a traditional astrological perspective, the Sun is said to be in Detriment when in Aquarius, suggesting that the interaction of solar energy and technology is not always likely to be positive one.

According to scientists from NASA's new Solar Dynamics Observatory, the Sun is currently moving towards a high point of activity in its 11-year cycle known as 'solar maximum' which will reach its peak around 2012/13 - no doubt adding fuel to the fire of those doomsayers fond of the Mayan calendar and the predictions of mass flooding tied up with their astrological folklore.

At this time, we could be in for a phenomenon known as a 'mass coronal ejection' This tends to occur roughly every 100 years and aside from creating spectacular displays of the aurora borealis (or northern lights) has the potential to knock out digital and electrical infrastructure for significant periods as well as disrupt magnetic devices such as compasses. The last one occurred 150 years ago in 1859, making this event well overdue.

It will be interesting to see whether this has any impact on the weather or indeed, on human or animal physiology.

Journalist, Lynne McTaggart, author of 'The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe', and editor of the newsletter, 'What Doctors Don't Tell You' has been doing research into the effects of solar flares on psychic phenomenon. In an interview with podcaster, Kelly Howell, she asserted that radioactivity caused by solar sunspots and flares affects the magnetic energy shield that surrounds the earth. This in turn, she believes can affect living creatures in a number of ways.

McTaggart has collected a number of scientific studies that show that geomagnetic storms can affect the hearts of humans, thickening the blood and causing cardiovascular problems such as strokes and heart attacks. Naturally, this is interesting from an astrological point of view, given that the Sun rules the heart in medical astrology.

Solar activity also appears to affect the brain, possibly because nerve impulses appear to be magnetic in nature. McTaggart quotes one four-year study which found correlations between geomagnetic variations and the rise in admission to two New York mental institutions. Of course the jury is still out about this, as several studies have also shown that the Full Moon appears to have an equally strong effect on people's behaviour, no doubt the source of the word 'lunatic.'
For more info, visit:

A whole science has developed around the idea of the link between planetary and biological rhythyms. Known as Chronobiology, it appears to bear out what all those ancient astronomers and philosophers maintained - that all living things are affected by the planets, particularly the sun, which sets and regulates our biological cycles. One scientist suggests that this synchronism may be set when we are still in the womb as a result of information sent from our mother's pineal gland which has been shown to be responsive to light and dark and that sets our circadian rhythms.

Of course, many critics will at once point out that it is never a good idea to mix science and astrology up - that both systems are based on entirely different philosophies - the one focused around physical cause and effect; and the other based on symbolic correspondences that is ultimately founded on the premise that the entire universe is intimately co-related and interlinked, functioning as one great soul or organism.

As I pointed out in the Introduction to my MA Cos Div Dissertation, however, it is only westerners with their dualistic outlook on life that separate nature from spirit - this was not so for many ancient cultures, including those that developed astrology. Nor was it ever true for eastern cultures like the Chinese who, for centuries, considered the I Ching divination system to be one of their greatest scientific achievements.

Of course, the debate on this subject continues to rage as scientists and astrologers fight to defend their corners - the most recent example of this being the disparaging remarks made about astrology by scientist Brian Cox on the BBC TV programe, 'Stargazing Live'. (see the newspaper report about it at:

Deborah Houlding has written an excellent refutation of this and other critiques of astrology, such as the suggestion of a 13th zodiac sign. Have a read by following this link:

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

The Lunar Nodes Continued

Nearly a year on since my last post, I have felt compelled to once again comment on the effect that the lunar nodes appear to be having on planet earth and her people.

Since the Chile earthquake of 27 February 2010, there have been several eclipses that have also coincided with small earthquakes, especially here in the UK. According to the BBC, the UK experiences up to 300 minor earthquakes a year but only major ones are reported.

Interestingly, at 23h00 on the 22nd of December 2010, a magnitude 3.6 earthquake rocked the northeast of England, with tremors felt across Cumbria, Lancashire, south-west Scotland, parts of Yorkshire, Northumberland and the Isle of Man.

This just happened to coincide with a LUNAR ECLIPSE, which officially reached perfection at 08h13 GMT on the 22nd of December.

Strangely, the day before the corresponding SOLAR ECLIPSE on the 4th of January 2011, another magnitude 3.6 quake occurred at 21h03 GMT on the 3rd of January in Ripon, North Yorkshire - in a similar vicinity to that of the Cumbria quake...More details can be found at the website of the British Geological Survey:

Although not ever seismic event appears to coincide with soli-lunar phenomenon, it does seem as though there is some sort of relationship at work. If there does turn out to be a link, then it would certainly help explain why ancient civilisations such as the Mesopotamians viewed eclipses with such fear, with steps being taken to protect the king from harm - in some cases, by using a 'body double' or substitute to take his place, as it were. (See: Jean Bottéro, Zainab Bahrani, Marc Van De Mieroop, 1995, Mesopotamia: writing, reasoning, and the gods, University of Chicago Press, p.145)

It seems to me worth commenting that since this most recent eclipse, we have had a fair amount of astrological activity involving the lunar nodes that seems to have coincided with mass movements of note, such as the demonstrations in Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria, all of which appeared to kick off at around about the time that Jupiter formed a t-square with the nodal axis (currently near the cusp of Cancer and Capricorn) as it ingressed from Pisces into Aries. Both came into exact orb of each other around the beginning of February and have since been separating slowly. It will be interesting to see whether something similar occurs when Uranus finally enters Aries around the 12th of March...

Although seemingly unrelated, Jupiter and Uranus actually formed a conjunction in the late degrees of Pisces on the SAME DAY as the SOLAR ECLIPSE in January 2011! These two planets were also within a degree of each other and on the horizon axis of the Cumbria earthquake chart (see above) close to the Descendant.

Of course I should also mention that a stellium of planets in Sagittarius and Capricorn were also surrounding the Sun and North Node (therefore opposing the Moon) at the time. These included: Mercury (24 deg. Sag) Pluto (5 deg Cap) and Mars (11 deg Cap).

On a personal note, perhaps the reason I am so aware of these events is that the nodal axis is currently almost exactly hitting my natal Jupiter at 1 deg Capricorn, whilst transiting Jupiter squares my natal Jupiter from Aries.