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The Truth of Astrology - Attention to Detail

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Rev. Pamela A. F. Crane

DFAstrolS. DMSAstrol(Hon.),DPCCH

(Click on the name-links to see the charts)

If there is one thing I have learned in a nearly 30-year love-affair with astrology, it is that however luminously self-evident its truths may be to the astrologer, it is quite another thing to make them plain to the general public.

Time and again comes the response, “But I don't know what I'm looking at;” the patterns which are so familiar to us are idioms in a language which takes the astrological layman much time and effort to learn, and this will not happen without desire or motivation. Until that dreamed-of day when astrology - real, deep, fine astrology - is part of our schools’ curriculum, however much we labour to present it effectively to the public, no-one will take the same trouble to understand its alphabet unless he or she really wants to.

This truth was borne home to me most painfully in the foyer of St. John’s College, Cambridge where I was waiting to show the Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell his own chart, and thereby open his eyes to an extraordinary dimension of the cosmos he explored both physically on the Moon-missions and philosophically as founder of the Institute of Noetic Sciences. He walked over to the display with me and looked at this graphic description of his destiny and identity for no more than a minute or two. “I don't really know what I'm looking at,” he said, and walked away.

Yet there are people out there who can see. And they see most clearly when presented with the same kind of astrology that paints so vivid a portrait of Edgar Dean Mitchell. It is no good relying solely on the symbols and aspects on which we all cut our teeth - the interpretations of each of these, although finite, are so flexible that we are forever vulnerable to the critics’ view that we read into them whatever we want to. Even successful tests of prediction which manage to impress lay observers with astrology’s effectiveness may be of short-term impact in the battle with today’s shrinking attention-span, and leave astrological thinking as remote from the layman's mind as it ever was. Far more persuasive and accessible to the uninitiated is a chart characterised not by symbols alone but by words, highly specific in their meaning and free from wishful thinking. The presentation of a horoscope's identity in such familiar language has already startled several open-minded sceptics into a fresh view of our universe. How can anyone absorb the fact that every human birth, every significant material or mental event is accompanied by its literal description in the heavens, and not be challenged to a major re-think? What else, after all, is it that we are trying to demonstrate?

Such an astrology has only become practicable in the last ten years. Two things have combined to make this so - the increasing affordability of fast, efficient personal computers, and the mushrooming catalogue of named asteroids pouring out of the Minor Planet Centre and into ephemeris software. As with the discovery of the trans-Saturnian planets, this late 20th Century boom in asteroid detection has its own cultural accompaniment, remarked on in a recent TV programme - “These days, in music as in everything else, people have the urge to categorise. The shops are full of labels!”  What we now have at our disposal (pace those few friends who still dismiss the whirling contents of the asteroid belt as meaningless rubble) is a multilingual Thesaurus burgeoning with the names of people, places, ideas, qualities, activities, objects, myths, sufficient to print identity-labels for virtually any chart you care to authenticate.

The charts used for asteroid work are in certain ways far simpler than usual, since the most dependable and graphic descriptions are obtained from conjunctions and oppositions of appropriately-named asteroids to Sun, Ascendant, Midheaven and Moon. There is normally no need to work with any other planets or points with the exception of the Moon's nodal axis. Where they differ most from other charts is in their multilevel approach. The use of what I term InterDimensional astrology is not arbitrary, but results from many years of study, experimentation and practice, which have shown up a genuine effect. This cannot be unrelated to recent findings in physics that resonance occurs between self-similar systems - in our own context, twelve-fold cycles of archetypal energy/imagery. The minimum requirement is to work with a double wheel combining the geocentric and heliocentric Tropical positions; this, as I am coming to understand it, portrays the apparent self and the real self respectively, and became very clear when working with the charts of the Nativity of Jesus. Also necessary, and always interesting, is the addition of the Sidereal ( I use the Fagan-Bradley ayanamsa) and the Draconic in a four-ring wheel. The reason for this is that there are many people, especially in public life or under the media spotlight, who are not expressing their Tropical nature but fulfilling their Sidereal role for most of their waking hours. Public people are Sidereal people, whose lives are painted on the broadest stellar canvas; the Tropical ‘little self’ mostly takes a back seat. (This is why so many astrologers have wondered why the Sagittarian Winston Churchill appeared so Scorpionic - as a world figure, he was living his Sidereal Scorpio Sun.) The Draconic becomes important when the life or event in question centres on issues of principle, and especially when there is spiritual purpose or karmic obligation involved. These matters may work themselves out publicly or privately, but their causes or motives lie in experience and actions of the past.

The lines, then, along which a moment signs its name in the language of asteroids, are chiefly the Tropical, Draconic and Sidereal Sun, Ascendant and Midheaven, Moon, the Moon's Nodes, and the Helio Earth. If a name or concept central to a chart has two parts, the midpoint of the two relevant asteroids should conjoin or square one of these main axes. The last, but by no means least transformation of the Lights, Angles and Nodes is calculation of the dwads, an old and valuable astrological technique now enjoying a timely revival.

The dwad is effectively Fractal Astrology; it is the repeated division of twelve by twelve again to produce a full zodiac within each radix zodiac sign. It differs from the 12th harmonic, however, in starting the circle of 21/2° signs with the radix sign and ending with the sign before it (in fact, mapping exactly onto the better-known decans.) Where radix asteroids fail to conjoin the Lights or Angles, almost invariably their dwads will - and we are talking here about orbs usually little more than l° and less than 5°.

The asteroids themselves can be found in various ways. Mark Pottenger has produced ephemerides on disk of almost all named asteroids (5000 - 6000 of them at the time of writing) back to 1500 AD that run under his CCRS92 program and are easily imported into Solar Fire; the online Swiss Ephemeris also has a complete database of asteroids, kept fully up to date; the late Neil Michelsen's company, ACS Publications in San Diego printed custom ephemerides for me some years ago, and probably still do (though this would be expensive); and the best astronomy software will run asteroid orbits back or forward to any desired epoch to your chosen level of accuracy, dependent on speed. You then have to convert RA and Declination to Zodiac Longitude/ Latitude. Before Solar Fire offered its asteroid module, I used Dance Of The Planets (ARC software). And for reference, unless you subscribe to the Minor Planet Circular, there is nothing to equal the late, much-missed, Jacob Schwartz’s Asteroid Name Encyclopaedia (Llewellyn, 1995).

Examples will best demonstrate the system at work and the truthfulness of its character descriptions, and the first takes us back to St. John’s foyer and our visiting astronaut. What I was trying to show him was the amazing configuration on his Tropical Ascendant of both the Draconic and Sidereal Sun conjunct asteroid Houston (site of NASA Mission Control) and his name, Mitchell, on his IC at birth (repeated for good measure by the Draconic and Sidereal dwad positions.) Dwads of Interkosmos line up with this Mitchell/ IC conjunction; helio Maury is also there - the Fra Mauro area was the target landing site for Apollo 14 . The guiding principles of his Institute of Noetic Studies are all rising - Academia conjunct Harmonia and Unitas. Asteroid Rosa also rises; he trained and flew with Stuart Roosa. Also, tropical dwad Rosa (Roosa) is conjunct his strong Cancer Moon, and the helio Stuart-Rosa midpoint is at 1° Leo close to the Draconic/Sidereal Ascendant. Trop.dwad Houston and Harmonia lie close to his MC, marking the area of his achievements. When he took off for the Moon in Apollo 14, his natal lst House alignment of Apollo (tropical), Daedalus and Selene (Draconic and Sidereal) was on the transiting Sidereal (historic) IC, helio Mars hit Draconic/ Sidereal Mitchell/ IC, and a helio Jupiter (journey)/ Saturn (the Saturn rocket!) opposition had reached his Tropical Meridian, the most literal description one might hope for. In the important helio chart, Interkosmos and Gaea embrace his Descendant; you will remember that it was Mitchell who, seeing the Earth from far out in space had the spiritual revelation that determined his future as a worker for global harmony, concord and deeper understanding. Also on that lst House Apollo/ Daedalus/ Selene axis you can see Tropical dwad positions of Mitchell and Interkosmos - this is the man, and this is where he's going. All these words are ‘written’ within a 3° orb.

That astrological configurations pattern the flow of ideas as well as material events is plain when we take a look at fiction. One moment that delights me is the choosing of ‘Spock’, the Vulcan's name that televison's Star Trek and actor Leonard Nimoy would make famous. He first appears in Episode 1 of the original Star Trek, screened in Los Angeles at 19h30 on September 8th 1966. His character is already portrayed in the rising Chiron/ Saturn and setting Uranus square Moon at the IC - a most outlandish individual whose integrity depends on the cultural prohibition of feelings. Across the historic/ cultural Sidereal horizon we have Mr.Spock (Tropical), Roddenberry (in coelo setting), dwad Eugenia (Draco - for Gene Roddenberry) and Trop. dwad Ultrajectum. The Draconic ASC carries Sidereal Mr.Spock conjunct Sid. dwad Vulkaneifel, and Trop. dwad Vulkaneifel is right on the MC opposite Drac. dwad Leonardo. Radix Leonardo is tucked into the Mercury/ Sun/ Pluto/ Uranus stellium, and in Draconic Cancer joins the dwad phrase Eugenia Roddenberry! In Tropical Virgo the same stellium faces Draconic Eugenia, Drac.dwad Vulkaneifel, and the Tropical dwad conjunction of Sun and Mr.Spock. This pair, Draconic, are on the Sidereal Moon/ IC. There is no power on Earth so great as an Idea whose time has come!

Another favourite chart of mine for many reasons is that of the Challenger astronaut Judith Resnik, but it wasn't until I had worked on Mitchell's chart that its full significance became apparent. Like him, she was born when the Draconic and Sidereal coincided, fusing the public role with all that is dearest to the soul. Unlike Mitchell, still alive and hard at work, Judith Resnik is famous for the way she died in that horrifying explosion almost exactly 15 years after Mitchell's Moon-walk. The story of her death is told succinctly in the asteroid phrases ( a term I find useful) written around her 12th House Sun, the sexy Mars-Venus conjunction, and Mercury - Draconic/ Sidereal ASC line-up, all in Aries. First though, identifying her and placing her on her path to growth, Judith rises in 25° and helio 28° Aries a little above the eastern horizon. Judith/ Resnik = ASC/ MC (this is another common identity pattern.) And here we have a second astronaut with the Sun conjunct Houston!...but this is enclosed by Phaethon, Scobee, Icarus, Mars, Venus and Atropos, all opposite Interkosmos. The tale is of a beautiful and courageous woman in a man's world, who flies into space only to meet her death with a Commander whose craft goes out of control and falls shattered from the heavens. Osiris, the broken god, is also in the picture, close to the helio Scobee and Sidereal N.Node/ Judith, and conjoins the Draconic Ascendant at the moment of explosion with Sidereal Spacewatch looking on from 1° Libra. The Sidereal Ascendant and setting Pluto at that moment hit her Tropical Mars-Venus conjunction and helio Icarus. Judith was born with helio Spacewatch lined up to her Draconic/ Sidereal Sun/ Interkosmos and Sidereal dwad IC. Ultrajectum is appropriately in her Midheaven opposite the Richard/ Scobee midpoint and helio Jarvis; asteroid McNair sets exactly, and Resnik squares the ASC/ DES. Christa (McAuliffe) is just east of the MC and conjunct her Sidereal dwad Descendant. Tropical Richard falls in her S.Node opposite Judith. From these strong angular patterns you can see how closely involved she was with her fellow crew-members in life and at the hour of death.
She may have had a special bond with Dick Scobee - the links seem especially strong. Just look at his own chart: her name is written right across his sky, Judith (helio 27° Gemini) Resnik (Tropical 26° Sagittarius) with his Sidereal Richard/ Scobee midpoint in Gemini 28°, linking them in professional friendship at least, and maybe something deeper. Sidereal Judith is conjunct his Sun - again we see the professional, public connection, and again in the contact between his Sidereal Scobee and Draconic Resnik. He has Commander Michael Smith's name written across the helio chart as Michel Smith from 12° Capricorn to 6°Cancer, and his own name there as a tight square in 22° Virgo/ Gemini. The drama comes, however, in the position of Draconic Scobee at his 7° Scorpio IC, together with his N.Node, Epimetheus (who was seduced by Pandora) and helio Onizuka, confronting MC, Houston, Phaethon, Mercury, S.Node and Sidereal Sun ranged along the very axis hit by Draconic Chiron, the setting Pluto, S.Node, Draconic Saturn and Sidereal Mars, Interkosmos and Hybris as the disaster unfolded. The Sidereal degrees of the disaster axis hit Judith's Aries stellium with his Sidereal MC/ IC patterns. As Challenger exploded onto television and film and plummeted before the eyes of a horrified world, the Midheaven, crowned with Photographica, Draconic Atropos (Death) and Sidereal Icarus, met Scobee's Sidereal horizon in late Cancer/ Capricorn, carrying his own Draconic Icarus/ Ultrajectum/ McNair, Richard and Drac. dwad Scobee with Tropical Michel, Jarvis and Pluto. As they died, helio asteroids Atropos, Judith and Scobee were in line with the Tropical Moon, and the name Christa McAuIiffe was written against helio Chiron in Gemini - the teacher that nobody would ever forget.

You will have noticed that much of the pattern falls in the Draconic; my understanding of this is that either there were karmic issues being worked out through the tragedy, or it reflects the spiritual commitment to the mission of those involved. But I shall always wonder what part was played in this drama by the compelling relationship between two of the men and women on board - did it affect morale? Did it pose a threat to discipline and even to safety? Or was it a necessary part of an extraordinary physical and spiritual adventure?

There are implications arising from this remarkable collection of asteroid phrases that must not be overlooked. The seven asteroids Smith, Scobee, Resnik, McAuIiffe, Jarvis, Onizuka and McNair were unknown when these seven people, in tribute to whom they were eventually named, were born. Yet the identities of the seven and their mutual involvement in the Shuttle missions are imprinted in their birthcharts by these tiny bodies, significantly placed. The truth we learn through astrology already includes the complexity of what we know as Time, and in the study of asteroids, particularly in horoscopes predating 1801, we are brought right up against Time's non-linearity. This is especially awe-inspiring when contemplating (to take a simple example) the Nativity of Mary, mother of Jesus. Her date was given directly and repeatedly through Guidance, and running the relevant asteroids bearing her names and those of her family slowly and accurately back to August 4th 24 BC, we now have her identity unmistakeably verified in the precise conjunctions of Mary with the Leo Sun and helio Maria with the Aquarius Earth. Her own mother, Anna, is in her Midheaven with Theodora (the gift of God), also helio dwad Virginia and Emanuela (God with us); and - as the fulfilment of her life and that of her Son - conjunct her culminating Leo Moon is helio Anastasia, for Anastasis is the Greek ‘Resurrection’. Geo Anastasia is conjunct her Sun, Pluto, Mary, and Viv, opposite Chiron, Phoinix, and Gratia ( grace ). Helio Christa is on her Ascendant with helio Salvia (Salvation), Mira (the miracle), Chemin (French, ‘the Way’) Veritas (the truth) and dwad Helio Viv (the Life), also Tropical Martir, and James (brother of Jesus.) Linking the adjacent axes of the Tropical and Sidereal 1C is the Tropical phrase Santa Maria Magdalena, and the helio conjunction of Child, Pax and Athanasia (Greek -‘there is no death’) with helio dwad Yeshuhua (Jesus) and Ra-Shalom (the peace of God, and also Jerusalem.) Helio Aeternitas and her friend Martha are found among the phrases at the Descendant. All charts of the Christian story are just as vividly described. The language of asteroids becomes the Word of God.
Little things mean a lot.

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