On the Discovery & Pre-covery of the Outer Planets

The three outer planets of our solar system were discovered. That is, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were not basic facts of night-time existence observable by humans since the dawn of time. Their discoveries marked crucial moments in astrological time. When looked at side by side, these events are linked together in a meaningful weave: a story told by the planets as they took birth into our awareness. Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, as well as newcomer Chiron, each function as part of our Solar system’s wider aura of information. Together they step down and transmit cosmic wavelengths of starlight from the ethers at the edge of our orbital egg to the intra-Saturnian layer of reality we call 3D.

Let’s turn to the fascinating synastry the planets have with themselves: through their discovery charts, which reveal what Mike Harding calls the zodiac’s “infinite synastry with creation.”

By now, the historical record shows that it was Galileo who first sighted Neptune, as early as 1612. He mistook the distant giant for a star (conjunct Jupiter in his telescope). In 1795, French astronomer Joseph J. Lalande also pre-discovered (May 10) what would be Neptune. This fact itself was discovered by the team of researchers who collaborated to find Neptune in 1846. In between these precoveries, Uranus was found by Herschel.

Astronomical Synastry in brief: 26° Aquarius

  • Precovery Neptune-2 had Pluto near where Neptune was later found, conjunct Saturn in late Aquarius.
  • At the same degree of the Saturn-Neptune synod of 1846, Chiron lay in waiting at Pluto’s precovery in 1909.
  • There, too, was Chiron’s unknown daughter Okyrhoe (conjunct Mom’s friend Pallas Athena), when Herschel found Uranus in 1781.

When Pluto was discovered in 1930, Chiron was conjunct the North Lunar Node. When Chiron was discovered in 1977, Pluto was conjunct the North Lunar Node.

At Pluto’s earliest precovery in 1909, Neptune transited exactly 18° Cancer 19′ (8/21/09, photographed by Edward Barnard at Yerkes Observatory). When Pluto was actual-pre-discovered, by means of the photographic plates taken by Clyde Tombaugh at Lowell Observatory prior to his ‘discovery’ of the results (1/22/30), Pluto inhabited 18° Cancer 15′. Thus Neptune presaged its outer planet brother exactly.

Then, and maybe less significantly, trans-Neptunian object Borasisi was discovered at the same magic degree of 26° Aquarius in 1999. It’s not just a random space rock though: Borasisi shows up big time in a Neptunian-Uranian way. It’s the planet of ‘mad science’ or tech without a conscience.

A Pleiadian Interlude

 Neptune’s pre-discovery pair of future Piscean co-rulers Jupiter and Neptune (at 26.5 Virgo) coincided with one of the two degrees that the Pleiadian Degree Symbols* depict with a ‘tea ceremony’. At Neptune’s actual discovery in 1846, it was adjacent to the next of those degrees of ceremony. In 1612, at Galileo’s viewing, at 27° Virgo Neptune-Jupiter announce “A famous geisha performing the tea ceremony.” Here is a clear resonance with its future discovery at 26° Aquarius, adjacent to the symbol of 27°: “During a tea ceremony a man briskly mixing tea with a whisk.” I view Neptune’s birth degree with some orb due to the triple conjunction that year which formed with Saturn across both degrees.

Neptune in both its pre- and actual discovery is symbolized by a tea ceremony: the ritualized, conscious merger of the physical with the fluid. This imagery is appropriate for Neptune in Aquarius, a true bearer of water. The Pleiadian symbols for these two Aquarian degrees are remarkably evocative of the relationship between Saturn and Neptune, which govern ‘containers’ and ‘fluids’, respectively. Next to the “tea ceremony” degree lies Aquarius 26°: “A scientist measuring the mineral levels in a sample of water.”

These symbols appear to serve as ideal imagery for Neptune’s watery world as seen from within the boundary of our system: a Saturnian container for Neptunian spirit. Not only are both images of a liquid contained (Saturn-Neptune), but the acts of measuring minerals and brewing tea each invoke the relationship between solute (Saturn) and solvent (Neptune). This chemistry is the inevitable result of the Saturn-Neptune process: absorption and dissolution. 

*Pleiadian Degree Symbols are an updated series of Sabian Symbols by John Sandbach

Pholus in the USA

The Centaurs visited in an unexpected way this week.
Waiting for an astrology lecture to begin, my eyes made contact with a client whose chart I had read last year, with prominent Pholus aspects and transits. We’d spoken of the ambrosia on his quest.
Minutes later my friend stopped by, unaware of the lecture. He has a strong personal affinity with Pholus and often chooses to anchor that energy in our group Centaur meditations.
During the excellent lecture on Mundane Astrology, I managed to keep my mouth shut about Centaurs though I did see that tomorrow’s Super Moon Eclipse will conjoin the discovery degree of Pholus, at 1° Leo. Transits to a discovery degree (the place on the Zodiac where we first noticed a new planet) kind of feel like transits of the planet itself. That degree symbol, for the place of discovery and of the Moon at eclipse, is “Not knowing what to say, a woman blushes,” which at first sounds like a funny way to start the dramatic sign of Leo the performer. Stage-fright, or drunken shyness? Drinking too much ambrosia in Pholus’ visionary cave, perhaps?

Pholus was also prominent on our recent “year chart”, the Capricorn Ingress 12/21/18, by virtue of its being at that first degree of Capricorn. Likewise, the Solar Eclipse in Capricorn earlier this month featured Mercury conjunct Pholus.
The heart of the talk was about the alignments between the USA’s natal chart (Sibley) and September 11, 2001. One thing I had never noticed about the astrology of this tragedy was due to the lecturer bringing up Solar Arc Directions in Mundane charts: the SA South Node approached the nation’s Neptune that year. This brings to mind karmic fruits of deception and illusions. That fact is coupled with a reciprocal transit: Neptune transiting the national South Node on that date. This pair of signifiers is quite extraordinary, as the one does not follow from the other.

911 to sibley pholus


But now I see: the USA’s own South Node is conjunct Pholus in the Sibley chart! The chain of significance is complete, as 9/11 was a completely Pholus-level event. “The lid comes off” and never-ending war is unleashed from a single event. A nation being conceived when Pholus was at the South Node in Aquarius can mean that the country itself grows quickly from a small seed (Manifest Destiny) and also that there are deep social, ancestral wounds (South Node in Aquarius). The silver lining of these times may be that our collective wounds are coming to the surface.

I’m grateful that Pholus made his presence known, though in that example we see its worst-case-scenario signification. We can choose to work with Pholus and use his powers of catharsis and divinatory power for healing and clarity, too.
On the eve of the Leo Eclipse in the early hours of 1/21/19, I invite you to welcome Pholus into any Full Moon rituals you may be doing, in whatever way you’d like. He’ll be waiting, flask of ambrosia in hand!🔮🧿💙

The Saturn-Chiron Aspect of 2018

{Blog originally posted on Hominy Creek Horoscopy, 8/31/2018}

A long-term influence of the past year has been the Saturn-Chiron square, the “brick wall of reality” (as Steven Forrest calls Saturn) gnashing against our deepest insecurities. Not always fun! This aspect is moving on into the mists of memory after next week’s station of Saturn direct.
For the brave, this week can be the final reckoning with Saturn’s taciturn teachings. If we can look him square in the face as he shows us our limitations, father Saturn and son Chiron (the ‘inconvenient benefic’ who seeks to help us through hurtful, growing situations) can help us make leaps and bounds in our evolution (AKA maturity, growth process) this week.
Recently I woke from a dream that showed me how the essence of the Saturn-Chiron square is to see how the limitations of our parental & father figures are brought into our own patterning as designs for learning, the karma we chose to operationalize in our birth.
Thus it is not for the faint of heart, but these are the big ones, the ones that are painful to look at, the things we hate most in our inherited patterning that we have unconsciously absorbed.
This period has been a reset opportunity, a time to observe objectively for those able to remain still and centered enough to see self with neutrality.
If you would like help and counseling for this final Saturn-Chiron cardinal square, please let me know!
Readings of your natal situation in regards to these planets can be illuminating and healing, helping to release stuck patterns (i.e. wounds) and move into new ways of aware selfhood.

Centauric Child Saints of Fatima

{Blog originally posted on Hominy Creek Horoscopy, 5/13/2017}

This date marks the centennial event of three children– once called “Spiritual Prodigies”, now Saints–who received a series of visions of the Immaculate Heart of Mother Mary. A pair of siblings plus a cousin, the brother and sister Francisco and Jacinto died very young as a result of the Influenza epidemic. After death, Jacinto was exhumed twice, and observed to have remained in the exalted state of corporo incorrupto: miraculously preserved as a site of terrestrial blessing for those with faith.

The astrology of Grace is a method made for exactly these sorts of charts, ones that show that regardless of which tradition visionaries come from, the planets can tell their story. In the natal charts of Saint Francisco and Saint Jacinto of Fatima, we find a delightfully precise application of Centaurs and Goddess Asteroids, found at the right degrees. These clear patterns continue through the events of their first Mary vision, and most importantly at their reception of the “Three Secrets of Fatima”.

640px-childrensoffatima

On the date of their reported First Vision on May 13, 1917, Altjira, trans-Neptunian holder of timeless wisdom,  transited the Pleiadian degree of the Divine Mother, 4 Aquarius, symbolized by “People lined up to receive hugs from a holy woman.” The more precisely transiting Mercury, messenger of the gods, is symbolized by “A youth handing a rose to a vestal virgin.”

The elder child, Francisco, is born with healing-mother-goddess Chariklo at 25 Pisces, the Degree of the Oracle (so named for it holding space for the later discovery of Okyrhoe, the prophetic daughter of Chiron and Chariklo). This is the Key Degree for the Astrology of Grace. His younger sister Jacinto, fated to become the incorruptible Saint, took birth with Altjira at the degree symbolized by “A woman being interviewed for a position as Priestess.”

At the date of his first Vision, transits to Francisco’s birth include the vividly visionary Okyrhoe to Altjira, granting a lens into the timeless; and the enigmatic charge of inspiration from Uranus to Chiron. That year Pluto voyaged between Francisco’s Okyrhoe-Node conjunction, itself iconic for a boy fated to be a visionary prodigy.

Jacinto’s most potent transit that day 100 years ago was an exact meeting of wisdom-guide Chiron to her natal holder of intuitive goddess-power Chariklo–a meeting of shamanic husband and wife. Blessings-maiden Fortuna coincided with her natal sacrament pairing of Ceres-Vesta, bringing that natal potential to the event-level. Mid-Life Point North Node of the Moon fell on 25 Pisces, the Degree of the Oracle. Mid-life Uranus at the Divine Mother Degree explains her role in this shocking discovery, in harmony with the event’s visionary potential enacted by Altjira.

When, two months later, the children received the apocalyptic Three Secrets of Fatima from Mother Mary, each child also received a distinctly prophetic and rare transit. Francisco was blessed by Okyrhoe to Uranus (plus 7 more exact hits to natal planets and asteroids). His saintly sister Jacinto was blessed by Chiron, now joined by Fortuna, at her own Chariklo. Such a transit, rare in such a short life span, is one when a wisdom holder may come into her own. At the last degree of the Zodiac, Chiron-Fortuna is symbolized by A seer, on his back and gazing into the sky, becomes a channel for cosmic messages.”

And, in a meeting of asteroids which were the archetypal basis for this astrology of grace, Hebe goddess of youth (implying immortality) had just met with Jacinto’s natal Okyrhoe, giver of visionary prophecies such as these Secrets. Thus, a gradual Chiron transit, which was in effect all summer, was timed more precisely by quicker Goddess-asteroids Fortuna and Hebe as they aligned to her Centaurs of Prophetic Healing, Chariklo and Okyrhoe.

I pray that under the compassionate leadership of Pope Francis, we may see the continued rise of the Goddess of Love and Mercy in all of her guises, including that which appeared to Saint Francisco and Saint Jacinto of Fatima. 

 

Chiron Rides a Bike

{This article originally published on my Hominy Creek Horoscopy Blog 4/19/17}

Bicycle Day… April 19, 1943: Swiss chemist Albert Hoffman takes the first intentional trip on LSD. 4:20 PM. Part of Fortune, 16° Pisces:
“A river of ideas and images entering our reality.”
 Pleiadian Degree SeriesHofmann
On that date, Chiron was moving especially slowly in the sky. The not-yet-discovered astral harbinger of new consciousness and healing was days away from ‘stationing direct’. That means, from the point of view of Earth, Chiron was hovering, nearly still, as if it were taking a moment of rest from its path around the Sun. The Wounded Healer held a message in his hooves.
But there’s more: Chiron was at the point in the zodiac where the Moon’s orbit would make its upward slice across the path of the sun, as viewed from Earth. This point, the North Node of the Moon, holds the place of our collective destiny, a blinking neon arrow pointing out the most beneficial path forward. That week of LSD’s foray into public life, Chiron pivoted into forward motion from that zodiacal place, 23° Leo. This is within a couple degrees of Albert Hofmann’s own North Node. Synchronicity. The message found its recipient.

Albert rode his bicycle home from the lab, publicly experiencing the world’s first LSD hallucinations. Traveling down a familiar road, he navigated new inner worlds while somehow maintaining balance on his bicycle.
On this eventful day, the scientist was undergoing a few curious astral influences from the Centaurs.

As mentioned, Chiron, leader of the wise Centaurs, was conjunct his natal North Node.
Okyrhoe, Chiron’s oracular daughter, was within a couple degrees of his Chiron.
Pholus, Chiron’s friend who held the corked bottle of the gods’ ambrosia, transited just past his Sun.
Three days before, when Albert touched his face after handling the chemical, thereby setting off the first (accidental) acid trip, Mercury the messenger transited his Okyrhoe, giver of visions.
The unintentional psychedelic explorer reported: “At home I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed… I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors.”
When Hofmann first synthesized the chemical, five years before, Chiron was transiting his own Neptune. The genesis of psychedelia is a perfect realm to witness how this pack of Centaurs activates our higher potentials!
Outer planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto were definitely pulling their psychedelic weight, too. The carriers of intuitive sparks (Uranus) and altered-perceptions (Neptune) were supporting his Moon (mental states) with equal aspects of 60° on either side, while Pluto was wrapping up a yearlong process of taking that mind down to its very depths… Like Chiron, Pluto also stationed direct later that week, slowing down with all its psychic weight to a few degrees of his Moon. Here the work of the slow planets point to the deeper architecture of the soul that Earth’s Moon regulates. Pluto-Moon contacts are psychic disruptors; with Chiron also at the Node of the Moon (his, and ours), the higher dimensions of this breakthrough led to universal effects well beyond the personal.
Hofmann was a buttoned-up man of research. Yet following this Pluto/Chiron transit and the discoveries they brought, he went on to research entheogens with indigenous shamans, cooperating in the extraction of the psilocybin mushroom’s active compound.
The Godfather of psychedelia remained serious about the Plutonic dangers of his “problem child”, and did not agree with the indulgences of Tim Leary or the Merry Pranksters. Nonetheless, he was instrumental in generations of psychonauts tuning in & turning on.

Transits (Outer Wheel) to Hofmann’s natal (Inner Wheel: January 11, 1906, 3 PM Basel, Switzerland)Hofmann Albert Bicycle Day