The Astrology Blog 12 April 2021
All times in BST
“If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one….
For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.”
Kahlil Gibran- On Death, from The Prophet
THE QUEEN & THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH
The death of the Queen’s husband has moved the nation, a reaction that appears to have taken many of us by surprise. It would have taken the Duke by surprise too. Even Prince Charles has said that his father, “would have been amazed at the touching things that have been said about him.” This is a picture intriguingly revealed in a second chart for the Duke, as his birth certificate has just come to light, which I address further on.
This is not the outpouring of grief as it was for the tragic and iconic death of Diana, and it doesn’t matter if you’re a monarchist or not. This was what psychologists would refer to as an “age appropriate” death, for a man who’d just spent a month in hospital and was two months shy of his 100th birthday. So the reaction is more, I think, an outpouring of affection – about recognizing our shared humanity and mortality, and remembering that even when a death is expected, nothing really prepares us. We feel sadness and empathy for the Queen, not as a monarch but as a woman and a wife, the feelings that we would feel for anyone losing a spouse after an extraordinary and awesome 73 years of marriage.
Death is still one of the great taboos, and the great leveler. In the Rider-Waite tarot deck the Death card is depicted with the priest giving the last rites over the dead body of a king, still draped in his ermine cloak. For me the image and message of this card is something that I always feel as humbling. It doesn’t matter who you are, we all go through our “endings” in life and face the ultimate ending of death. “The undiscovered country from whose bourn, No traveller returns,” is our destination and one that we know nothing about.
Even extensive reading from NDE (near death experiences) survivors and their documented and highly intriguingly similar reports tells us only that there’s something else after the death of the physical body, that the odds are that the soul does live on. I’ve personally read enough on the subject to be in little doubt (recommend Raymond Moody, Brian Weiss, Kenneth Ring in that order as Raymond Moody started the research and then others carried on in more detail). But what that actually involves in terms of experience is something that we’ll all have to wait to find out!
ASTROLOGY & DEATH
It’s no good ignoring this question, so am breaking the taboo. As one of my friends here who’s suffered many bereavements says, “there’s a lot of death in this life”, and our community here also just a week ago lost a valued man unexpectedly. We’ve all been in shock and deeply upset for his loved ones left behind.
When you’re a practicing and teaching astrologer you get asked this question many times – can you see death in the horoscope? Going back 26 years, when I first arrived in Greece and set up my desk on the seafront, joining what was then a bustling market life in the evenings, I’ll never forget the guy who stopped and asked me directly, “Can you tell me when I’m going to die?” When I realized that he was actually completely serious I asked him why he wanted to know. His answer was that if he knew he was going to die in the next few years then he could run up all his credit cards and enjoy himself without worrying. He meant it.
The answer I gave him is the one that I give to this day, that yes you can see death in the horoscope, that our lives are mapped out and that I know astrology to be infallible – but the astrologer isn’t. Apart from all the ethical issues, if there’s one reason for not predicting death it’s that you might get it wrong. But more importantly, in relation to how astrology actually works, death symbolism, like any other event, shows “in context”. In some horoscopes you might be looking at the death of a marriage or a job, you might even be looking at serious illness, but it’s rarely clear that you’re looking at the moment of death itself unless that death is already inevitable and expected.
SYNASTRY/A SATURN TRANSIT FOR THE QUEEN & THE DUKE – and a new time of birth
As you would expect the Queen and her husband shared some remarkable synastry (comparison of two horoscopes and how they match). In spite of plenty of rows early on which these days appear to be common knowledge it was a love match. The Duke’s Venus at 5 Taurus was conjunct the Queen’s Sun at 0 Taurus –
According to the chart on astrotheme they also have the same Capricorn Ascendant. So Saturn, ruler of that sign and planet of work, duty and responsibility, is the chart ruler in both cases.
This then in turn also means that the Descendant – the hugely important Angle of the chart that marks the beginning of the 7th House of partnership – is Cancer in both cases. Therefore the “significator” for the spouse is the Moon (ruler of Cancer) who is in the regal sign of Leo in both of their charts and posited in the 7th House of marriage in both charts. The Queen’s chart Moon is at 12 Leo and the Duke’s Moon at 22 Leo, same sign but 10 degrees apart, too far apart strictly speaking to be “conjunct” as traditional craft allows up to 8 degrees.
But, stop press! Breaking news astrologically, thanks to Laura Boomer-Trent for posting yesterday on Facebook a copy of the Duke’s birth certificate, in Greek as he was born in Corfu. This made me smile – how very typical of a double Gemini to have two different times of birth and therefore two charts.
But more importantly this is fascinating symbolically as the new chart doesn’t change the degrees of the planets (eg Venus still at 5 Leo) but the time of birth is the factor that determines the all important Ascendant, the Angle that marks the beginning to the 1st House, the starting point of all horoscopes.
The birth certificate gives 10am, 12 hours earlier than the time given on astrotheme, and this changes the Ascendant to Leo. As the Moon moves so fast (12 degrees a day) this means that the Moon is the only planet that has changed position – from 22 Leo to 15 Leo, conjunct the Ascendant of 18 Leo.
This in itself is symbolically descriptive of the warmth (Leo, fire sign) and affection (Moon = feelings) shown by a nation (Moon also = the people). In other words, the true feelings and regard for the man become known as the new chart emerges. The synastry between the Duke and the Queen is also strengthened as this new chart shows that their Leo Moons are now in fact only 3 degrees apart.
DEATH OF THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH
In terms of universal symbolism the Duke of Edinburgh died on Friday morning which coincided with an aspect that happens once a year, the Mercury (news) conjunct Chiron (the powerful asteroid that speaks of both our physical and spiritual health/wounds, known as the Wounded Healer) that was exact at 8.07 BST. No exact time was announced for when the Duke passed on but I expect that it would have been at or very close to this time.
In traditional astrology it’s Saturn who is the Grim Reaper – before the discovery of the modern planets Saturn was the end of the known universe and therefore came to represent the end of earthly life too – who is currently travelling through Aquarius, the opposite sign to Leo.
In terms of personal symbolism for the Queen the Saturn transit opposite her Moon, the significator in her chart for Philip, is clearly the showing for his passing. The Queen’s Moon is 12.07 Leo, and on Friday morning Saturn had reached 12 degrees of Aquarius. She has already been quoted as saying that his death has left a great void in her life. Saturn transits to either of the Lights – Sun and Moon – are especially tough.
Saturn also picked up the Duke’s Neptune of 11.36 Leo (another synastry point between them of her Moon conjunct his Neptune). Amongst other things Neptune rules sleep and dreams, so an apposite showing for a passing that was described as incredibly peaceful.
WHAT’S HAPPENING THIS WEEK?
It’s a busy week as both the Sun and Mercury are on their home stretch through Aries, travelling side by side and therefore both making the same series of aspects to three other planets – Mars, Jupiter and Pluto. It’s rather an intriguing picture in some ways as not only is this a picture of somewhat intense activity and spinning a lot of plates, but their last aspect is the challenging square to Pluto, who just loves disappearing acts and dropping things into black holes. This would usually indicate a lot of effort coming to nothing. But at the last minute the Sun and Mercury unite, in the last degree of Aries (exact in the early hours of next Monday).
Here’s the timeline for the Sun’s aspects –
Wednesday 14 April
- Sun 24 Aries sextile Mars 24 Gemini 00.10
- Venus ingress Taurus 19.23
Thursday 15 April
- Sun 26 sextile Jupiter 26 Aquarius 18.00
Friday 16 April
- Sun 26 Aries square Pluto 26 Capricorn 14.24
So the Sun’s aspects are spread over a period of two and a half days, but Mercury currently being at full speed makes the same series of aspects on the same day, in the space of just under 6 hours. Here’s the timeline for Mercury’s aspects –
Saturday 17 April
- Mars 26 Gemini trine Jupiter 26 Aquarius 06.15
- Mercury 26 Aries sextile Jupiter 26 Aquarius 17.01
- Mercury 26 Aries sextile Mars 26 Gemini 20.10
- Mercury 26 Aries square Pluto 22.49
As we tip into next week the Sun and Mercury unite in the early hours of next Monday before they both change sign and move on into Taurus, opening a new cycle –
Monday 19 April
- Sun conjunct Mercury 29 Aries 02.51
- Mercury ingress Taurus 11.30
- Sun ingress Taurus 21.35
My overall feeling with this rather frantic picture is to keep going, especially as Mars and Jupiter themselves also align by trine (harmonious) which is a fantastic combination for lucky breaks, efforts paying off or a plan coming together in fortuitous ways. Many matters will probably change shape more than once in the process so stay flexible and be open to alternatives and to accepting help. We still have the Mercury – Mars mutual reception at work for another week – as described in last week’s blog. For now in particular look out for the increasing presence of matters ruled by Jupiter – chiefly education, travel, liberation, opportunity, legal concerns.
The Sun – Mercury conjunction is the light at the end of the tunnel, a promise of key information, decisions and much needed answers. Any planet conjunct the Sun to within 17 minutes of arc (just over a quarter of a degree) is said to be “cazimi” and therefore in “the heart of the Sun”. The symbolism of this is the planet drawing strength from that heat instead of being burned up by it. It’s a window of opportunity, and with Mercury that can take the shape of light bulb moments, vital information or having the chance to get your point across exactly in the right way and at the right time. In that hot spot is a golden nugget of truth or a lifeline of help.
So look out for that Mercury moment, especially things that shine a light into your understanding, help you to make a decision, negotiate or finalise a deal, find the right words to get an important conversation started and so on. Look out for the person who can help, the person who steps in, that messenger from the gods.
VENUS’ NEW CYCLE – LOVE, MONEY, PLEASURES
You’ll see from the sequence above that Venus changes sign this week just ahead of Mercury and the Sun, moving from Aries to Taurus on Wednesday evening. There’s a sense of her almost being unseen amongst the rest of the scramble going on, but it’s a quiet transition from Venus’ sign of detriment (Aries) to one of her signs of dignity (Taurus).
Venus will be travelling through Taurus until 9 May but for now just clock what unfolds for you midweek, especially if you have planets or Angles at or close to 0 degrees Taurus. 0 degrees is one of the “critical” degrees (as in more powerful, not a crisis) as it’s a new starting point, the blank page or a shift connected to the planet’s concerns. It bodes well, for example, for a relationship shifting from a one way/still single (Aries) picture to one of commitment and more emotional security. Similarly, work changes at this time point to more financial stability. You may also get some clues or pointers to what the coming Taurus season might be holding in store for you as Mercury and the Sun will also reach this 0 degrees position after the weekend.
Keep your wits about you and keep spinning those plates while solutions take shape – I get the feeling that we’ll all be looking at our own solutions and clearer personal plans by the end of the week!
Until next week
With love from Greece