Centaur Astrology: Supreme Court Edition

{Originally posted on Hominy Creek Horoscopy’s blog 10/05/18}
While I do not intend for this site to function politically per se, it turns out that this moment in American politics is well described by the movements of the Centaur planets. As such it is my duty to present to you, the reader, the information I find in the skies so that you can make your own conclusions about events on the ground. Yet it seems important to write the following without casting any blame, since we should not attempt to infer anything legal from the general implications of a few transits.

As far as Centaurs are concerned, we get to the interior content more often than the event level: how it feels to be on a journey, rather than where it leads. So in isolation, Centaurs don’t automatically lend themselves to catchy political commentary.

Regardless of one’s politics, the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is a focalizing moment in American history. For some it is playing out as a macabre and over-the-top demonstration of white male privilege flying in the face of endless #MeToo revelations of systemic trauma. A peak example of believable women not being believed. Yet for others it is an equally peak display of partisan politics, of a conspiracy against conservatives (believed mostly by folks who forget this nominee’s role in a previous Presidential kangaroo court in the 1990s).

This judicial nomination has touched a nerve: it’s a watershed moment in the Trump presidency. So we can expect the natal chart of its central characters to be aligned closely with the world mind – the transits of the planets.

Transiting Okyrhoe is exactly square to Christine Blasey Ford’s Lunar Nodes. The will to speak the truth against the ire of the gods has reached an evolutionary crisis. Further, Ford was born with Mercury conjunct the South Node in Scorpio: she is an inveterate truth-seeker and speaker. She’s done this before (and her career as Professor of Psychology is almost a textbook example of this configuration). Transiting Okyrhoe squaring her natal Mercury-SN has pushed Ford into being a voice for a generation, and she is bearing the brunt of negativity from detractors on top of the trauma caused by reliving the alleged crimes against her.

Christine Blasey Ford (no birth time known) was born with a strong polarity of malefic planets in alignment with Chiron: Pluto-Uranus-Mars in late Virgo opposite Saturn-Chiron conjunct in Pisces. Perhaps Chiron can ameliorate some of this difficulty, over time, as the ‘inconvenient benefic’ it is. Not an easy path to tread.

Notably, she was born on the first Mars Return of Brett Kavanaugh: their natal Mars are within a half degree of each other, born in different years. Their only other close synastric conjunction is the centaur Pholus: the small cause with big effect. Pholus is also the drinker, or at least holder of the drink. He knows the dangers inherent in opening that cask of wine. (It cost him his life).

So Mars-Pholus synastry jumps out at the reader: it doesn’t look good, as such a combination certainly implies aggression under the influence. Their Mercuries are square, too. They are bound to voice different opinions and worldviews.

As a trigger to this synastry, Chiron moved in opposition to their shared Mars throughout much of 2018. It will station direct in late Pisces, opposite their Mars, again in December.

As for the transits du jour, the zeitgeist in the sky: Okyrhoe the truth-telling Oracle is prominent. She transits his Mercury and squares Ford’s, as mentioned.

Saturn and Vesta reached their perfection (actual joining in conjunction) the day before Ford testified at Kavanaugh’s Senate hearing (Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018). This combination of Saturn’s patriarchy with Vesta’s feminine flame can stand in for the whole movement to reclaim women’s power in the public sphere, as Tara Greene, astrologer at Infinity Now, has written.

This fitting pair can be seen as the raised fist of feminism against men in power. They are exactly aligned to Judge Kavanaugh’s natal Okyrhoe. This makes for a complex sign. Everyone has an Okyrhoe: a truth to tell, or a perspective to speak from. It was his that became the focus of scrutiny this month: what did he remember about his history, and how does it square with testimony of witnesses? His Okyrhoe would not stand a chance against the might of Saturn-Vesta, an iron hammer on fire.

Or is it that Okyrhoe’s truth is being voiced by means of his existence? That a natal placement can be a transpersonal signifier is quite centauric; maybe he is a pawn in a larger game of evolution.

Nessus was in gear driving against his natal Saturn throughout 2018, and remained within a degree this month. This Centaur is the most unsavory one, not a wise figure like Chiron, but a rapacious brute of an animal. So while Saturn crushes down against him, his own Saturn–sense of dignity and limits–is likewise trampled by Nessus.

Neptune applies to his natal Chiron, and he is forced to admit on the record to a history of heavy drinking, while being extra lo-fi-Neptunian about it and possibly lying to Congress about the extent of his underage intake of alcohol, which peers report being excessive.

Here the Centaurs’ tale is total: Okyrhoe has transited the Judge’s Pholus (19° Aqu 03) since this summer. Against the arc of 2018, all of this is sealed by that Aquarian degree: exactly opposite August’s Solar Eclipse at 19 Leo.

Thus his cork-popping centaur of intoxication had faced off against the summer’s Solar Eclipse, one which was configured with Okyrhoe. Eclipse Okyrhoe was at 19° Aqu 29, and remains near that point today in retrograde fashion. Okyrhoe would play a key role in the unfolding of the Eclipse’s drama for the months over which it held sway. We see this reaching a crisis point in both the nomination of Kavanaugh and in Blasey Ford’s central role in that process.

Now as it reaches some kind of conclusion [BK was confirmed 10/6 11pm], the present transit of Okyrhoe is 16° Aqu 15, close to the natal Mercury of Kavanaugh and thus square to Blasey Ford’s. [At the swearing in event, Okyrhoe was on the 9th house cusp of Law].

Regardless of what you think of Kavanaugh the man, it is clear he has acted as a lightning rod for these swirling energies of unrest and that these are astrologically mediated by the Centaur planets. Maybe we can gain some consolation in the fact that when prominent, Centaurs appear to help us on our journey back to wholeness. They can be uncomfortable mirrors, a band of inconvenient benefics, and require the active participation of the person in whose chart they appear. Evolution is a choice made individually and collectively.

Retrospective: Chiron and Neptune in Pisces

{Originally posted on Hominy Creek Horoscopy’s blog 1/18/2018}

Over the last six years we have been blessed by Neptune’s presence in his strongest sign, Pisces. On the physical level this invites an increase in flood-like phenomena, while on the energetic level, in his own sign, Neptune opens the floodgates of grace for the spiritually sensitive. Chiron presently shares this watery space, but these two spiritual planets will not conjoin at any point of their Piscean sojourn between 2010-2018. They last met in late Aquarius back in 2010. Let’s give Chiron a retrospective before he moves into Aries this April.

Tracing their past activity together in Pisces can illuminate their present vibrations. In fact it’s quite rare for the two to make actual contact in Pisces. In the last five hundred years this has taken place only twice: in 1528, and 1862. Upon investigating, it turns out that both of these dates feature extraordinarily apt events of a Chironian-Neptunian nature.

In 1528, two key events are remembered in European history. England faced a summertime epidemic of “sweating sickness”: it can’t get much more blendy between these protagonists than a ‘wound’ of a ‘moist’ nature. The very Neptunian disease, causing fever, shivers, exhaustion and profuse sweating, reared its sickly head throughout the reign of Henry VIII but only reached epidemic heights when Chiron and Neptune conjoined that year in 1528.

Earlier that same year, Protestant martyr Balthasar Hubmaier was burned at the stake for the crime of espousing anabaptist heresies. What was his capital offense to Catholic doctrine? The belief that an adult should decide whether to be baptised (Neptune/Pisces) as a believer in order to proclaim his own Christian faith (Chiron/Pisces).

When the cycle came around again in the sign of the Fishes, record amounts of rainfall in Northern California swelled into the Great California Flood of early 1862, when water levels at one fork of the American River rose by 35 feet.

And as for this iteration of Neptune-Chiron in Pisces, well the waters sure are rising, and often tragically. Maybe we owe the fact that we haven’t all sunk this time around, to how these two watery planets have not actually crossed paths in the oceanic sign. Yet with the rising earthly tides, has come a definite Chironian urge to awakening, which has allowed quests to proceed into new depths of Piscean awareness all the while.

With Chiron crossing the Aries point in a few short months, we might see a galvanized spiritual leadership emerge. We might even become those leaders. We might have to!

Praise Kheiron Phillyrides,
Kentaur of Mount Pelion,
Son of Kronos, Son of Ouranos.
Bringer of the moment to its peak.
Holder of Harp and Herb, healer with sound and plant.
Mentor and sage, friend of humanity.
Your skilled hands guide us in ways of healing.

An Astral Traveler in the Centaur’s Realm: Carl Jung

jung in space

In the later part of his life, depth psychologist Carl Jung slipped through Chariklo’s veil during a Near Death Experience. After a heart attack, and following a fall that required hospitalization, he drifted into a coma (February 21, 1944) in which he astral-traveled into space, looked down at the earth, and found his way to a dream-asteroid which housed a temple meant entirely for his spiritual enlightenment.

Carl Jung’s NDE took place against the backdrop of a deeply evolutionary world transit: Pluto retrograde crossed the North Node of the Moon. This key transit was exact throughout the month of Jung’s ordeal. Transiting Pluto at the North Node would have made death the topic du jour. For Dr. Jung, Pluto-Node aligned within a few degrees of his natal Sun (born July 26, 1875), so the collective trend became personal as he experienced a classic Near Death Experience.

Now we can see how the event was completely Centauric, both archetypally and astrologically. The Centaur’s realm includes NDE phenomena like this one. Hooves on the Earth, head in the clouds of Olympus, the Centaur’s existence is half-in/half-out. This is the primal ‘wound’ the Centaur heals: learning to enjoy complete embodiment on Earth in alignment with one’s highest spiritual principles.

Astrologically, the evolutionary dyad of Pluto-Node joined in a precise opposition to transiting Centaur Okyrhoe: visions (Okyrhoe) of near-death (Pluto) experience (Node). Yet even more to the point, Pluto and the Node were found exactly at the future discovery degree of Chiron’s partner (and Okyrhoe’s mother) Chariklo. The astrological functions of Chariklo, according to Philip Sedgwick, include ‘boundaries’ and ‘energy healing’. I gloss these as the ‘energy body’, the subtle body that is the site of healing.

Seen in the life of Jung, this planetary formation gives new meaning to the Pleiadian symbol of Chariklo’s discovery degree, “A man’s astral body travels into the sky to see the stars more closely.” We can see how evocative this symbol becomes in light of Jung’s report when he awoke: “It seems to me that I was high up in space. Far below I saw the globe of the earth, bathed in a gloriously blue light.” (Memories, Dreams, Reflections)

(Here is also a fine example of how the Sabian symbols’ often bare descriptions can become more specifically meaningful after receiving further Pleiadian detail. Compare Sabian Leo 7: “The constellations in the sky” with Pleiadian, “A man’s astral body travels into the sky to see the stars more closely.”) Thanks to John Sandbach, channeler of the Pleiadian Degree Symbols.

From this degree of shamanic Chariklo, the Node of the Moon (and Pluto) reigned over Carl Jung’s transformative NDE. The astral body, as the form of subtle body that leaves the physical boundary of flesh, was the vehicle for Jung’s spiritual adventure. Chariklo embodies this archetype in both her astral activity and discovery degree symbolism. In his brilliant retelling of the NDE vision, Jung recalls:

“As I approached the temple I had the certainty that I was about to enter an illuminated room and would meet there all those people to whom I belong in reality. There I would at last understand – this too was a certainty – what historical nexus I or my life fitted into. I would know what had been before me, why I had come into being, and where my life was flowing.”

Could we hope to read a more clear description of the astrological North Node than this? The natal North Node is considered by evolutionary astrologers to hold the key to fulfilling one’s destiny or purpose. Carl Jung’s Node at 11 Aries, symbolized as “A flickering fire creates the illusion of laughter as it reflects off a golden effigy.” The astral traveller came to visit a large stone asteroid which was the site of his spiritual inheritance, and sure fits this description: He saw a

“Hindu… in lotus posture upon a stone bench. He wore a white gown, and I knew that he expected me. Two steps led up to this antechamber, and inside, on the left, was the gate to the temple. Innumerable tiny niches, each with a saucer-like concavity filled with coconut oil and small burning wicks, surrounded the door with a wreath of bright flames.”

In my research of well over one hundred visionary and mystical experiences, I have found a simple method to chart these peak events in relation to the people who undergo them. In Jung’s case, this method again highlights the role of Chariklo as the centaur of energy bodies. In the style of Davison’s Relationship Charts, we can check the mid-point in time and space between the visionary’s birth and major life event. This chart is a kind of Centauric Progression, the half-time date between birth and peak. To continue with the Jung example, which has already shown so much resonance with the Lady Centaurs: we find mid-life point Chariklo exactly at 25° 00’ Pisces. This is the degree at which (in 1998) Okyrhoe, oracular daughter of Chiron and Chariklo, was discovered.

To recap: transiting Okyrhoe was exactly opposite Chariklo’s discovery degree, and “Centaur-progressed” Chariklo was exactly at Okyrhoe’s discovery degree. Yet of course, neither of these planets had even been discovered yet when this event transpired. Could it be that Jung’s life story itself fits into our history as an archetypal case of the Chariklo-Okyrhoe experience?

In his Hymns to the Ancient Gods Michael Harding suggests that by imagining some kind of a primal zodiac, “we could visualize that on this collective chart is described the psychic history of our planet.” Actually, Harding’s purpose in that book is to interrogate some of Carl Jung’s most famous ideas.

To Harding, what Jung called archetypes are actually just the planets, encoded in memory on a ‘primal zodiac’. His argument suggests that as astrologers, there is no need for us to draw on some difficult-to-define collective unconscious: such a thing exists, in real space and time, in our experience of the planets traversing the zodiac. A primal zodiac could make sense in light of this kind of investigation into discovery degrees. We can see how this kind of cosmic background could serve as “an image of an infinite synastry with our total history.” (Hymns to the Ancient Gods)

It is fitting that the person who gave us the terms ‘collective unconscious’ and  ‘archetypes’ serves by example of his life story to ground our application of the astrological planets in the place of these concepts. As Harding concluded,

“Such a collective zodiac, on which we originally might draw all our initial energies and to which our subsequent expression of their principles ultimately returns, presents a psychic equivalent to the genetic pool in which we might create our collective and individual destinies.” (Hymns 106)

Newton

Isaac Newton believed the stars were delineated into distinct constellations by the sage Chiron. Now that we have discovered planets the dominion of which we grant to Chiron and kin, we are able to track such movements  against a map of Chiron’s own devising, the signs of the zodiac.

A putative primal zodiac does not need to exist anywhere in reality for it to have symbolic power. And it is not made of the stars that have shifted from their once-aligned geocentric view (via precession). After all, whether wrought by God or by diverse human imaginations, constellations are shapes we impute from our perspective in space and time. The energy fields of the zodiac of signs exist as the psychic reality that relates the spiritual world with our embodied experience of life on planet Earth. Although the zodiac abides nowhere really, the real planets reveal its meaning.

NATAL PLANETS AT FUTURE DISCOVERY DEGREES

Jung’s own chart finds synastry with the discovery degrees, past and future, of four additional new planets:

  • Natal Venus at 18 Cancer (Discovery of Pluto)
  • Saturn at 25 Aquarius (conjunct Neptune) (~Saturn Return of Neptune discovery)
  • Neptune at 4 Taurus (Chiron)
  • Pluto at 24 Taurus (Ceres)

If we view the discovery degree as a planet’s holographic point of zodiacal potency, conjunctions to these show affinity not unlike conjunction to the actual planet in a chart. At least it imbues some of the discovered planet’s flavor to the natal planet. Maybe it remembers, or predicts, how the natal planet will act in the life of the native.

In the example of Jung’s birth, the conjunction of Neptune to Chiron’s future place of discovery can indicate how his own spiritual ideals intuitively connected him to the role of healing mentor; or, at another Chiron-level, indicating his own unconscious (Neptune) wounds (Chiron).

Ode to Vesta

Vesta

O Vesta, first Olympian, keeper of the sacred hearth.
You are the inner fire of yogic mastery,
The living flame in all beings.
You are the power of synchronicity.
O Vesta, Speak: “The locating of a particular frequency which,
once tuned in to proliferates a wondrous harmony into the atmosphere.”