Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Bonfire of the Vanities

Elizabethan Burghley House in Lincolnshire, England


The Bonfire of the Vanities – the title of this post arrived intuitively, based on the not all too serious idea of illustrating a curious series of images and associations depicting the vanity of the 17th earl of Oxford.

As it turned out, Wikipedia deepens and traces the expression back to 15th century Italy; it was ritual in which sin was consumed by throwing personal belongings associated with vanity into a fire. (Compare today’s borrowing of Hindu thought for the expression “burning karma.”) This original meaning will become apparent for those reading this post to the end. 

For one who has read about Oxford’s love for Italy, it becomes an intriguing coincidence that the blogger’s first thought regarding a suitable heading resonates so well with the contents of the post. Could it be that a mind dwelling on an ARCHETYPE is granted accesses to its skein of attributes from the outer world of physical or psychical instantiations? In this case the knowledge of the late Earl now in custody in the noetic world of archetypes where it – and the memory of him, who gathered this knowledge, lives on for ever?


This blogger recently purchased an obscure, used gramophone record from England online, but whose lousy condition had so been played down in the object description that an irritated conversation ensued. The seller eventually admitted the object had been poorly described, but only after the buyer had sent photos of his earlier copy of the same item – purchased a month before, in much better condition and at only a third of the price this seller asked. (Not talking big money; it was not a collectable, merely rare.)

The buyer considers himself a discerning collector since the first copy, half-decent as it was, sat ill with the rest of his “mintish” record collection.
The failed “upgrade” was too be shipped back to England at the seller’s expense, and answering which one of the two addresses he confusingly had given to use, he ethnocentrically – forgetting the buyer lived in another country – mentioned Lincolnshire as he “no longer spent much time at his London address.” However, the place name didn’t feature in either address so I googled to confirm that the city of Stamford was situated in Lincolnshire.

It was, but the on the map in Wikipedia preview on Google something else immediately caught my attention. Nat far from Stamford there was an historic building called Burghley House. “Not THAT Burghley?” the thought flew through my head. Oh yes, this was the country house (or rather mansion) of Lord Burghley, one time Secretary of the State but later on Queen Elizabeth’s treasurer. Said place had had its name transferred from a town house situated at the Strand in London, a favourite street with the upper classes at the time.

Once again the blogger hit on a subject that has given him endless joy after having had a most peculiar night dream back in 2005, both obviously symbolic but also containing such uncanny realism it drove him to start looking for a certain “Oxford” closely connected with a “Queen” and also a “mother”. Given the typical clothing seen in the dream I had narrowed the dream down to a nobleman of the Elizabethan age I had never heard of before. The important thing I soon discovered is he sometimes informally referred to himself simply as “Oxford,” just like in my dream. (See also the December 2015 blog post Oxford’s leg wound.)

The meaning of this latest piece of a growing puzzle takes some background to appreciate. Oxford became fatherless at 12 and a ward of the State. He moved in with Lord Burghley who practically became the boy’s stepfather (and with whom he would naturally soon develop a strained relationship). Of all the places in England the careless online seller had managed to combine two, both of which the fraudulent Lord Burghley had lived in (he had in fact been born in Lincolnshire, where he subsequently erected his magnificent “country house.”)

It was then I realized I, living in Sweden, had already been introduced to young Oxford’s new London address after becoming fatherless; the first Burghley House on the Strand corresponded to The Strand, the magazine that first published the stories about my childhood idol, Sherlock Holmes. I had noted that fact during ten years of intermittent reading about Oxford but thought nothing of it, it was merely a superficial coincidence. But the two residencies of that English seller rang a bell with me. So it was time for doing some more sleuthing regarding Oxford and his youth spent at the Burghley House in London, initially called the Cecil House before William Cecil was knighted Lord Burghley.

The 17th Earl of Oxford was certainly much into buying and selling, and like yours truly (when it comes to old gramophone records), as a member of the nobility, he must have been very particular. Returning from a year long trip to Italy, loaded with finery (that was the first word that came to mind though I don’t know whether his Italian purchases are now known apart from the Queen’s gloves and maps), he was robbed of most of the luxury items  shortly before reaching the shores of England.

Reading Wikipedia about the first Burghley House, initially called Exeter House and then, as noted, Cecil House), my attention suddenly veers off from the text to lovely pencil drawing of a mature person identified as Lord Bedford, whom the Crown had given Covent Garden in 1552. This was an extensive area bordering on the grounds belonging to Cecil House and thus young Oxfords neighbour during his troublesome teens. I recall having heard “Covent Garden” mentioned numerous times in my life, but I just cannot recall when or in what situations. Possibly during my childhood, since both Ma and Pa had been to England in their early twenties (individually, before they met – Ma went there for classes in Art), and they both loved gardening and landscaping.

Not only did the folk music trio Amazing Blondel on Swedish television give me goose bumps back in 1973 when I was in my early teens thirteen and first heard Elizabethan music  (it really stirred something in me and contrasted wildly with Deep Purple or whatever rock band I was into that particular month). Reading up on the first Burghley House I now recalled in a flash that years before that folk music experience I had owned a toy car that I loved above others because of its name which apparently had struck a deep chord within, similar to that of hearing old English music. Before I reveal that name I must mention that Amazing Blondel’s 1970 debut on ISLAND RECORDS was with an upbeat song containing the line, “I was born in Lincoln” – a city of course situated in Lincolnshire, the shire that started off this chain of events.

Incomprehensibly, as a boy this humble truck was
the blogger's favourite toy car for a long time

Now, that toy car which, since I could not yet read at four or five, Ma must have read to me, was a dumpster truck named BEDFORD, just like young Oxford’s neighbour, the owner of Covent Garden. I can remember how I turned these old Corgi Toys and Dinky Toys cars around, spellbound by the texts (in English) on their underbellies, and I must certainly have been looking long and hard at the word “Bedford” for that strong reaction and instant recall when seeing it on Wikipedia - now as the neighbour to a former address of a historic person earlier having appeared in my dream! This really strains the credibility of naturalists and scientists insisting that nothing according to their view of reality can possibly survive a person’s physical death and that thought transference and other mediumistic gifts are all pure nonsense.

That these odd coincidences points directly to young Oxford’s years at the Cecil House in London is obvious, but for clarity’s sake I will add a few facts gleaned from the detailed Wikipedia articles. The future Lord High Treasurer Cecil moves to his London townhouse in 1560, two years before Edward de Vere becomes fatherless and is put in custody with the Cecils in this very house. He becomes the Queen’s treasurer in 1572 when Oxford is 21 or 22. (The young Lord, a spendthrift if there ever was one, would a few years later embark on his extremely costly trip to Italy.) 

From the years following Oxford’s upbringing in Burghley House and preceding (and following) his trip to Italy correspondence has been preserved that reveals the rather strained relationship between this imposing authority figure and the stepson. In fact, the very formal communication are very similar to this blogger’s problems after about ten to respect his own father and the letters exchanged during his upper teens and early twenties with the father who then had moved abroad (“something rotten in the state of Denmark”). In this correspondence my father, a sales executive, revealed his all-engrossing fixation on money and ownership.

He certainly lived up to the usual characterization of the zodiac’s second sign Taurus (money and property) and in according to the true, sidereal zodiac, in fact was born in that sign. (Just as Oxford, the astrological buff believed himself to have been, although the warlike spirit en love of tournaments and jostling – like some boys I had a similar love for things Arthurian at ten and eleven – perfectly fits Oxford’s true solar sign, the warlike Aries.)

Those letters, I recall, contained sharp reprimands, threatening and pleading, in order to make his put a higher value on money, which I simply could not do. (Astrologically this is obvious, being a solar Air-Libra and having Moon rising in the east in Air-Gemini and thus one but a distinct step ahead of my father’s Gemini ascendant which was held back by his Sun in materialistic Taurus. I can vividly imagine similar discussions between Oxford and his stepfather.
Perhaps the parallelism is seen because it is universal; perhaps this is in itself the archetypal tug of war between the grown-ups trying to teach the young to contain themselves and adopt the materialism of the world. Indeed, this is the reasonable explanation to this blogger’s tendency to identify with the Oxford/Cecil correspondence if just cutting out and removing this piece from the other pieces already enumerated. 

So I must ask the reader to venture a guess on how many kids in Sweden, with a six million population back in the sixties, sat down hypnotized by Bedford, the name of their favourite toy car (in itself one of the lowliest cars in my toy collection – a mundane dumpster truck and really paling, compared to e.g. the Batmobile I received a year or three later and which I also liked a lot, but not with the same fervour as the B E D F O R D). 

The reader should also recall this blogger’s parents having been to England with especially my Ma being something of an anglophile ever since that, or at least an avid reader of British royal gossip (I guess that goes for a great many European women). 

However, in the biographical department one must not fail to add the curious case of me moving at fourteen from the west coast of Sweden to Stockholm at the east coast and during the first year in the capital repeatedly scoring highest in class during the English exams (second language in school). Only to be informed by the teacher that the rules stipulated she only distributed so many A grades in class, and although I clearly had a better command of English than anyone else, I could only receive the second-highest grade since she otherwise had do downgrade some other pupil in the well-to-do neighbourhood. 

The reader may appreciate the dejection this blogger felt at fourteen! Moving on to “high school” the pattern continued. The honourable English teacher, Mr. Glimvik, soon realized who was at the top of his class (and this time gave the highest grade).

A few years later my sister coincidentally had Mr. Glimvik in the same subject, and she too outperformed the other students in her class. Many, many years later mother took a train from Gothenburg to Stockholm and in the seat next to her discovered Mr. Glimvik, who she recognized from parent-teacher meetings. They spent a few hours chatting away and it transpired that my childhood family and Mr. Glimvik (who had once studied at Oxford, to bring in this word again), had unbeknownst to each other moved to same Swedish cites at roughly the same times – THRICE! (A small town called Tranås, then to the second city Gothenburg and finally to Stockholm, capital of Sweden). 

A longtime believer in reincarnation (I was fantasizing about at least one former life as a Chinese already at six), I find this a good if indirect example of “group karma” or the unseen ties (or God’s hand) moving the pieces on the game board collectively for the fulfilment of “the life plan”!

Another curious piece of this puzzle is the fact that Pa changed from the exceedingly common last name Pettersson (Peter’s son) immediately after his trip to England in 1955 and had it registered with the Patent Bureau (so that no one can change to the same name). In an all too verbose afterword in my book summarizing the Swedish astrology blog I noted that his newly adopted last name Aldenryd might be read as a conflation of two tongues (by no means rare), the Old English “alden” (old) and the Old Swedish “ryd” (meaning a manmade clearing in the forest, but not yet put to use for cultivation). 

During one of several revisits on the subject of Earle Oxenford, I noted that Elizabethan London had two gates somewhat redundantly named Aldgate and Aldengate respectively. Outside one of them lay an extensive garden (not Covent Garden). One might almost think Pa spent time perusing old historic maps of London during his visit there and got the idea for his name change that way!

Indeed, maps featured heavily in my childhood during Pa’s subscription to the National Geographic magazine and on my Swedish blog I have attempted to explain Oxford’s trip to Italy in part as his longing for a new father figure after the father’s early demise (and obviously not enamoured by the social climber Cecil as stepfather). The argument, briefly stated, is that the Queen’s astrologer John Dee became one of these role models and it was in the capacity as an avid collector of land maps, Oxford journeyed to the Italian city excelling above others in the art of cartography – all in order (unconsciously, of course) to imitate John Dee. 

One might notice the nobleman being peculiar: not any map drawer sufficed for the nobleman, only the map drawers of highest repute was good enough for him (as John Dee had known Mercator). This blogger is not much of a collector, with one exception, during the past 14 years the astrological interest of his early twenties has awoke anew, and the collection that stopped at 300 charts back then has now increased to 9.300 during his attempts to evaluate the correctness of the ancient sidereal zodiac.

So, in a way, this combines Oxford’s love of astrology (courtesy John Dee) and also land map collecting proclivity (also courtesy John Dee) into one subject: astrological maps, or rather, what they might signify! The reader of course senses what the real issue is: is there some universal scheme recurring over time (even down to the smallest details, as the Greeks thought)? Do we inherit traits from persons that once lived but that we have no blood relations with? Is reincarnation the best explanation for this, or are there other models?

During earlier Internet searches I found mentions of economic documentation showing the Oxford was buying and selling land, among other things a park of some size. Had he not become saturated by the business conducted by his biological father (which it is almost certain he had), the stepfather’s affairs during his teens cannot possibly have escaped him, as for instance buying up a piece of the outermost land belonging to Covent Garden from his neighbour Lord Bedford. 

I can almost imagine young Oxford at a window, looking out from Cecil’s townhouse and taking in the green scenery of that vast garden and with growing resentment dwelling on the lands and building belonging to his family but now seized by his stepfather. Cecil’s extension of his garden in London of course corresponded with this snakelike person's wish to climb in society. De Vere had an older and finer pedigree than Cecil and one must assume a certain stiffness resulting from both being aware of this; Oxford had to assert himself in other ways than contesting the stepfather in charge of his family property - the young man turned to fencing and similar sports. 

Again of archetypal (in the loose sense) or universal character, is the tendency to encroach on other others lots in order to expand one’s own living space. I was not spared this experience either as I cringed from shame at precisely twelve when my father YET AGAIN started a row with a neighbour regarding where his grounds ended and our family’s began. I remember two men and a city ground schema settling the matter of who had the right to the disputed area once and for all. Father habitually thought “outsiders” encroached on his territory and karmically speaking this would imply that he in a former life was the one ruthlessly expanding at other’s expense!

Interesting, however, is the speculative ascending sign I put in Oxford’s horoscope based on the moment I awoke from the dream in 2005. With Gemini rising (coincidentally the same as during both mine and my father's birth), Oxford had the misfortune of having both the benefics Venus and Jupiter put in the 12th house of worldly loss. Born into one of England’s wealthiest families, Edward de Vere appears to have ended his life practically broke!

And thus, in the midst of this sequence of strange coincidences triggered by a English dealer who charges too much for trashy objects and snootily makes a number of possessing two dwellings, one in London and the other not far from the mansion Burghley House, arises the phrase “bonfire of the vanities” in the back of his head. I have not read the book but very vaguely remember the very boring film version. 

The wondrous thing here being of course the Italian background to the phrase, of which I was unaware until now. And also how pertinent the idea of burning sinful items denoting vanity follows so closely in time after having gone a round with an English seller of very scarce records. And this too in a time when that people has finally said "thank you but no thanks" to the rich man’s club EU which has depleted the salt of England’s earth and life much less succulent than before Thatcher and the insane Neo-liberalism with greedy US corporation effectively trying to take over the world. 

Perhaps a personal omen of burning on a pyre what little remains of the “collector” or “hoarder” in this blogger’s psychical constitution, in preparation for the Age of Aquarius? For those who don’t know it yet, this will become a post-capitalist age for mankind, spearheaded by China and all nations wanting to serve the entirety rather than themselves. Good globalism is not yet born, but it will arrive.

From that angle the English might seem to have taken a wrong step towards seclusion but as EU is so corrupted by US and European lobbyists the West will obviously need another turbulent period of narrowing down into nationalism (and possibly another great war) before the New Spirit of Aquarius – the Cosmic Man – will dawn on this benighted part of the world.

As for the question what explanation apart from reincarnation best suits this blogger’s perceived parallels with the life of Oxford, I have discussed that in some depth in my Swedish blog. Possibly I will translate some of it for eventual publication on this sleepy blog.


Post Script

This blogger’s been outside Sweden five times in his entire life – four trips in connection with the childhood family and one at the employer's behest. Countries visited were, in chronological order, Italy (at six), the tourist island Tenerife (at seven), England (at 11) , Denmark (circa 20) and France (at 38). Denmark because my parents had moved there and France because it was a grandiose gesture from the then employer to have the entire staff bond while visiting castles and vine yard abroad). 

Why bring this up? Perhaps Oxford got so burned by his year long and outlandishly expensive tour of Italy - an upper class shopping spree if you so will - only to be robbed on the journey home, that a pronounced negativity to travelling has travelled on in time attaching itself to anything thereafter immersing himself of the soul stuff of the late Earl. Indeed, as this soul stuff encroached upon my dreaming this explanation is insufficient since there is so much more I have found from my life that corresponds to peculiarities in Oxford's life, some of which i have thrown like pearls before swine on the blog in Swedish where no one, this blogger included, reads Shakespeare or hardly even history if it doesn't involve one's own country. Sweden has in recent time suffered the indignity of producing school pupils growing stupider by the year more than any other member of OECD, and this even after removing the war refugees and other type of immigrants from the statistics. 

I hold the dumbing down in Sweden (at the forefront of everything IT) to be caused by the rise of the Internet, computer games and most recently smart phones. (In the news the other week: Facebook's latest algorithm ranks a visual clip higher than the written word! Facebook as the commoners' reinforcement mechanism, taking what little ability to express themselves verbally away from them! Hopefully China will criminalize Facebook after taking control of the world markets, Westerns are really committing cultural suicide in the name of Profit!)

Of these many coincidences (whether or not suspiciously many) I will here only mention briefly a dream from my twenties wherein I had an important task in delivering two ping pong paddles on a satin cushion to a sleeping King and Queen in an old castle to make then communicate again so that would love grow from playing the game. This is strangely reminiscent of Oxford's youthful poem in which he likens love to a game of tennis. Only the ping pong paddles - I loved ping pong as a child -  was tennis rackets in the original Oxford version! 

I have from my Swedish horizon never seen this type of simile for love between the "King" and the "Queen," and while not being much of Royalist - I frankly don't care what the Swedish Royalty is up to and much less today's British - I still have had a few strange dreams involving a King and a Queen, which I suppose Jungian depth psychologist can explain.

Another parallel discussed at length on my Swedish blog was the family trip to southern Italy in 1966 (1 week) och Pa's driving a rental car up through Italy to the Alps for a second week. A few years ago, (after writing the book which devotes on chapter to Oxford's horoscope and the curious event that triggered the dream), I realized this childhood trip to Italy had crossed Oxford's path and then some. It was during that investigation I suddenly realized why Oxford might have been interested in Verona of all places. It was famous for its cartography and the perhaps foremost cartographer keeping shop in Venice (where else?) came from Verona and might even have produced maps there.

Below are a few posts in Swedish involving my perceived resemblances with behaviours or items of interest to Oxford. Some contain links to yet further posts dealing with other perceived resemblances. After being very reticent, one might say I started publishing these musings in order to see more clearly whether the resemblances hold water or are just figments of wishful thinking, though paradoxically I have not the slightest wish to look like a nut who claims himself to have been Napoleon in another life! 

Therefore the importance of understanding what en ego is, and how it is discarded after a life never to return, and what is a soul and whether there is a "Super Soul" in which all the souls' resources are pooled and from which ANY INDIVIDUAL SOUL belonging to that Super Soul may draw, if having the right disposition and inclination...

The long and winding road ("Den långa och vindlande vägen") - July 2013

Regarding the publishing of the long and winding road (an astrological interpretation of the moment) - same day

Radical map on (not of) the winding road - August 2013 (a spin-off mentioning an interesting book I discovered as an aftermath to my look into Oxford's Italian journey in the uppermost link)

The Blogger's Occult Diary - Another name checking heading, now of the Swedish playwright August Strindberg's strangest literary work. Long ago, I worked for a while at the tiny Strindberg Museum (the author's flat in Stockholm City where he lived during his last years) and had the opportunity of studying Strindberg's annotations written in his French translation of the Chinese oracle text I Ching. 

I have that in about 10 English translations (and one with the Chinese just to look and understand the exact phrasing of the original). This cosmological and ethical work absorbed me for a quarter of a century but is now superseded by an renewed interest in the zodiac signs which I find correspond much better to empirical reality if going by the original Babylonian-Indian sidereal variety.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Maria Sharapova and nature's allotments in astrology

Tennis champ Maria Sharapova was caught using illegal medical substances. She took full responsibility but explained there was no evil intent. She had simply missed clicking a link to discover her medication, taken for ten years battling semblances of diabetes and for strengthening the heart, had very recently been banned.

Her birthtime is unknown, but a chart using the Moon to establish an ascending sign still reveals an interesting problem when inspecting the sun sign Aries (the archetypal Child who always wants to impress its parents and a typical sign of athletes). Behind this Arietic Sun we find the fighting Mars stuck in the mud in Earth sign Taurus. 

Mars is Fire of the dark variety: Hindu astrology relegates it to Tamas guna (the dark and ignorant material quality), so it doesn’t mind getting dirty in order to get the job done. Mars in Sattva guna (the light and conscious quality) would probably have chosen a profession where it could use its wits to solve problems instead, with the passionate and middling Rajas guna leaning now this way, and not that.

Using the assimilative Moon for an ascendant we see the dispositor of the heroic Sun inauspiciously fallen into the sixth house of bad health and bad luck.
In addition, the ”Satanic axle,” threatening its subjects with an exaggerated worldliness and fixation on substance intake, is localized along the sixth and twelfth house axis. Consisting of the two natural malefics Saturn and Mars, this must be the lowest and most disorienting version of Satan’s capacity to make us pick the wrong path in life. This woman has been tricked by the evil powers of this world into trying to fight her weak health while simultaneously attempting to “exalt” her own Sun and prove herself number one. (In which she succeeded, being at one time ranked number one in the world).

Saturn is strong in the twelfth house of exile and chronic illnesses, and Mars energetic output in the face of Saturn’s formal restrictions fits the scandal: chronically weak (inborn) health has attempted to prove its worth in the face of said weakness. Now, the Satanic axis is to this blogger usually lethargic and singularly uninspiring, so the answer to why Sharapova rose to the challenges must be sought in the Moon-mind’s reaction to the inauspicious Sun, due to its problematic Taurean basis.

This fiery Sagittarian mind suffers badly from “negative sensationalism” since it is not driven by Fire but its opposite Water, threatening to put out the living fire. The cold Water sign Pisces houses the dispositor of the Moon, which makes the latter try to distance itself from its basis (Jupiter) in Water, perceiving it as a threat against its own nature (which Water is). This “negative alarmism” thus makes waves publicly while in reality expressinh a flight syndrome; it achieves on the basis of a dysfunctional attitude. Its basis is Water - fear!

In fact, Fire trying to dissociate itself from the swallowing up of the death dealing Water element is reminiscent of the infamous crab fights seen whenever the Rajasic Water sign Cancer is in full force. Cancer, the principle of self preservation means the crabs will fight each other to the bitter end, each only slave to its own instinct and with no reason at all. Survival instinct and no brains at all.

In the case of Sharapova her Pisces is fighting against treacherous Nature and its tendency to dissolve every aggregate (cf. Buddha’s dispassionate remark on the finite biological copy of the real life, found only in Plato’s heaven). Jupiter in Pisces is, however, similar to the ancient Greeks’ Zeus Soterios, the god approached by sailing merchants wanting to safeguard their valuable cargo when at sea. Zeus (Jupiter) the Savior thus protects FROM the dissolving quality of Water and thus one might interpret the fiery Moon’s reaction to its dispositor in Water as an activation of Jupiter’s remedial effects! Sharapova took Guru’s prescribed medication.

I believe Sharapova speaks the truth about her inborn tendencies to diabetes and a weak heart (Sun with dispositor in the sixth of bad health), but like all people with no philosophical foundation to their lives, her mind reacts to the elemental difference signaled by the deep dispositor – Fire withdraws from its basis in life in order to act like a god (Fire was considered the most godlike element according to Roman philosopher Plotinus).

As her Sun too is on this fiery trip, and again with problems in the sub-lunar sphere (the negative elements Water and Earth belong to our perishable world; Fire and Air are supra-lunar and divine), we see typical signs of a fallen soul acting out and trying to prove itself unto the heavenly Father whom this type of soul has spurned to begin with. So in the final say, here innocence is really the same guilt as attaches to all the achievers which this world has far too many of.

Using Hindu aspects one notes that although the Winner, the Lion, is untenanted, it is under attack from both attacking Mars and strangling Saturn. 

Ray Tomlinson, the “father of e-mail,” died from suspected heart failure the other day. One may note how the two natural malefics form a mutual aspect in this natal chart too (inner planetary circle), though of the 90/270 degree variety! The same planets in transit (the outer circle) may be seen triggering that natal mutual conflict on his day of death!

Monday, January 11, 2016

David Bowie, Starman, and astrology on planetary exits

With the morning radio on, I caught a few lines from, as it turned out, David Bowie's final album. From one track on Blackstar I heard that he, like Elvis, now had left the building and was looking down on us from heaven. I then realized the title of his final album was a conscious allusion to Saturn as the black sun, a classic synonym to Saturn in his personification as the Reaper or Death.

Transiting Saturn aspecting transiting Jupiter
(the latter being Bowie's solar dispositor)
whilst a new moon occurs in Bowie's solar sign

The artist's day of demise shows how well this Starman's exiled soul made its exit in accordance with Earthman's reckoning of time. It's in full accordance with Bowie's birth chart where the sidereal zodiac places his persona in the rising sign Virgo. Indeed this was a meticulous and soft spoken gentleman, the best possible specimen of Virgo. (Virgo's ruler Mercury sits in Sagittarius and is greatly benefited from good natured Jupiter's stay in artistic Libra.)

That the black sun (Saturn) during his transit through death dealing Scorpio firmly controls Jupiter through the Hindu 270° aspect is fairly obvious. The afflicted Jupiter resides in the twelfth house of losses and chronic illnesses.

All of this of course makes very little sense unless one understands the roles played by Jupiter and Saturn in Bowies' birth horoscope. Jupiter, joying in Venusian Libra and in the second house of material resources, is the dispositor of the Sagittarian Sun, and the elemental combination of Fire based on Air well explains why there's such a light feeling to much of Bowie's music, his exquisite mastery of form or style, and, not the least, the sci-fiesque and even philosophical threads surfacing now and then throughout his artistry.

Moon (and the fourth house) signifies, among other things, the end of life, and for one born with the Moon-mind firmly controlled by Saturn, fashioner of forms but sunk in Water, one should naturally expect Saturn to shop up in the guise of Death when the time is due. That the sign Cancer produces cancer is, I believe, a well-known but rarely mentioned fact among astrologers who use the correct zodiac, the ancient sidereal one.

David Bowie exited this world after an 18 month long battle with cancer under a new moon in his own far reaching sign of exploration, Sagittarius, signifying the commencement of a new project in line with the lyrics I caught on the morning radio. Sagittarius points his bow and arrow to the skies and Bowie here took place as one of its immortal stars. It's incredible with what timing Bowie realized his final work and only days after the world-wide launch of Blackstar let go of this material illusion under the new moon.

In fact, westerners, still clinging to the tropical zodiac, are unable to apprehend the speech uttered night unto night that all the followers of the ancient heavenly zodiac from Babylonia and nursed and further developed in India, are able to hear. Westerner's would describe Bowie using the earthly ruler Capricorn totally missing the space theme so incredibly important to his accomplishments in music. Heck, he even managed to sneak himself into a movie called "The Man Who Fell To Earth"!

Just check his fleeting allusion in "The Man Who Sold The World" to the ancient idea - older then Heraclitus - of the "way up" and the "way down" - referring to the comings and goings of souls. What a great soul this man harbored!

Really, there is nothing in the tropical zodiac indicating the motif seen in Space Odyssey, Starman and Life on Mars - his early and career defining moments. Only Venus is in Sagittarius in this chart and even though ruler of the tropical Libra ascendant it is repressed by the conjunction with Ketu, the Dragon's tail, which appear to cause everything it affects to split off, like the beheaded demon in the Hindu myth. 

Again, reflecting on Bowie's passing, a writer in The Guardian had this to say: "Among the blizzard of tributes on Twitter, the writer Jon Savage called him a “major liberator”, which perfectly nailed the point." What an abyss there is between Bowie as the earthly ruler and controller Capricorn and a Sun in freedom oriented Sagittarius and where furthermore the Sun's dispositor Jupiter sits in Libra, the liberator! (Again, the tropical zodiac's Libra rising is not enough to explain the drift of Bowie's artistry, especially his willingness to venture into new directions.)

Seasoned astrologers in the western tradition should take the opportunity Bowie here affords them to discover God's true heavenly writing. In amazement this blogger has learned so much in a mere eight years that he never grasped during 25 years with the western zodiac.


July 2014: Bowie diagnosed with cancer

Going back 18 months to the discovery of his Cancer, shows just what I just said: Saturn aspected the sign hosting Jupiter then too, and just look at what the signs involved were: all Bowie's own major signs if viewing (as Hindu astrologers often do) the dispositor of the Sun as in some ways even more important than the pretty simplistic and obvious manifestations of the Sun itself. 

The Hindu interpreter is more interested in the reasons behind Bowie's preoccupation with starmen (soul beings) and his musically extremely adventurous and explorative journey (at times leaving even loyal fans behind him). It's it God's own planet Jupiter (Guru in Sanskrit) that holds the key to journeyers of this kind.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Is the Devil for real?

Chapter four of The Zodiac Rules (the book) is the only one directly addressing the status of the research on the Dead Sea Scrolls by suggesting a context for the sorry scraps of parchment indicating that the Qumran community were skilled astrologers (something predicted long ago by the American seer Edgar Cayce, who died before the monumental discovery of ancient texts in the Judean desert).  

In this chapter I suggested that the star Algol (from its Arabic name al-Ghul) might hearken back to an older Jewish (perhaps ultimately Babylonian) tradition about this star’s demonic influence. Or, differently put, Algol, situated in the very beginning of Taurus, is a placeholder for everything undesirable (including temptation) that might detract the soul from fulfilling its mission here on earth. As the Dead Sea people practiced the world’s first known working form of communal ownership (communism) based on the insight that there is only one legitimate Owner of the All, it seems fitting to put the Devil’s own star here in the sign indicating the ownership instinct and money - a tradition with obvious ancient roots! (See the statue of the Bull on Wall Street as a Satanic allusion to that Golden Calf to whom the Jewish people fell prey as soon as their leader was away on an errand!)

The book, however, provided only a few anecdotal case studies of Algol for illustration. In this blog post I draw on my unfortunately very small collection of approx. 1670 horoscopes with a known birth time. They have been slowly gathered over a few years by following the news and looking up all kinds of personages on the Internet. The Swiss AstroDatabank is the best source while the French AstroTheme started out as a careless collection of horoscopes with no mention of whether sound sources to obtain the ascendant sign had been used. However, the site has shown clear signs of improvement in this regard during the past few years.

This blogger’s subset of widely available celebrity charts also includes a small set of approx. 200 charts for ordinary (non-famous) citizens collected way back in the early 80’s when he first became enthused by the suggestiveness of the zodiac. (By then he only knew of the tropical type.)

As the Sun represents the outgoing force in a man, his/hers willpower and daytime activities (labors), I thought the Algol and Sun in a straight line (a conjunction) might be the better subject for a small study than Algol and the Moon. The Moon might influence behavior but only indirectly as the sidekick or the mind informing the out-acting Sun. I have repeatedly been noticing pretty messed up Moons in charts of perfectly decent people, seemingly because they had such a strong and healthy Sun in their horoscopes. (Astrological lore also points out the importance of a good Mercury, so that a strong and good sense of logic may counteract any degrading attitudes or feelings arising from a darkened Moon-mind.)

As this test is of the “depth interview” kind (a legitimate scientific method in e.g. the social sciences), I set a very narrow orb for the conjunction, ±2°. Algol resides in the 3rd degree of Taurus or 2°19’ so this orb begins with Suns in Taurus’ first degree and includes those up to and including the fifth. This narrow window resulted in 18 charts, with only two from my small pile of anonymous charts.
  1. William Lilly; 11.5.1602; 2:02 – British astrologer and occultist.
  2. Eric Satie; 17.5.1866; 9:00 – Composer with low rate of productivity; lived a double life and communicated with himself from his other address in another part of Paris, France!
  3. Birgit Nilsson; 17.5.1918;14:45 – Famous Swedish opera singer; truly a majestic diva.
  4. John Paul II; 18.5.1920;17:30 – Former Pope.
  5. Bobby Darin; 14.5.1936; 5:28 – American pop singer (”Mac the Knife”)
  6. Dennis Hopper; 17.5.1936;20:45 – Actor. Had it all after the film "Easy Rider" but smoked his career by overuse of drugs. Made a late comeback, and had some more years in the limelight but by then his body was worn out from its abuse.
  7. George Lucas; 14.5.1944; 5:50 – Creator of the Star Wars franchise. Filthy rich from watering out the ancient Persian myth (also found in the Dead Sea Scrolls) about the perennial war between the Spirit of Light and the Spirit of Darkness.
  8. Brian Eno; 15.5.1948; 3:50 – Atheist art musician who chose the way of Money. Today just about as interesting as beige wallpaper. Typically produces Coldplay, the most generic pop group in the music industry (whose lead singer has a horoscope uncannily reminiscent of his producers’).
  9.  "The Vixen"; 17.5.1951; 1:30 – Attendant at a home for retired people; the most grating and least endearing female I have ever met.
  10. Jean-Marc Deperrois; 19.5.1951;15:45 – Clumsy French murderer; accidentally poisoned the daughter of his mistress instead of her husband!
  11. David Byrne; 14.5.1952;14:00 – Talented/eccentric singer-songwriter, artist, art critic and more. Appears politically minded (aware of the inequality between the rich vampires in the West and the rest of the world) and at heart a materialist (very, very little in his lyrics can be construed as metaphysics). Sometimes working closely with the aforementioned Brian Eno.
  12. Pierce Brosnan; 16.5.195; 0:05 – Actor with a penchant for criminal or callous characters. Early in life lost a beloved wife to cancer and grieved for years on end.
  13. Debra Winger; 16.5.1955;17:15 – Sensuous actress in the 80’s. Dubbed a “bad girl” for her performance in “An Officer and a Gentleman.”
  14. "The Classic Beauty"; 14.5.1960;19:57 – A young lady who frequented a local tavern during the blogger’s early twenties. Self-consciously clad and looked like a blonde bombshell brought straight out of a film noir of the 1940’s. A spectacular case of the beauty of the cold country of Finland. Among celebrities, she was directly comparable to Alison Doody as seen in the third Indiana Jones movie.
  15. Trent Reznor; 17.5.1965;23:53 – Depressive rock music from this atheist/nihilist musician.
  16. Janet Jackson; 16.5.1966;21:25 – From the infamous Jackson family whose tyrannical father groomed the children for worldly success and forced them into the entertainment industry.
  17. Tori Spelling; 16.5.1973; 1:13 – Celebrity child of a media mogul. Strikes me as a vacuous, sad and cosmetically operated upon beyond rhyme and reason.
  18. Megan Fox; 16.5.1986;17:46 – Another pseudo actress; judging from youthful quotes at one time possibly Hollywood’s foremost self loather. Fully aware of having no acting talent whatsoever and only chosen for fame because of her striking good looks.

As concluded in my book, the evil star Algol, is only shifty character and sometimes appears as Mammon, the demon of monetary greed, sometimes as the Tempter or Temptress – that is, the Devil in a certain mode. And then again, the star may sometimes become outright evil as the Nihilist or Atheist – Satan or the Accuser! – deny an inner essence or rationale of life and living. A large survey of evolutionary biologists might perhaps make a case for this as the main way Satan degrades and demeans western civilization of today. Just tasting the idea that a US company has tried to take OWNERSHIP of the human genome makes one wonder how much longer this civilization will last. So utterly degraded by the madness inherent in the Dark Quality (Tamas guna), heavily promoted by Capitalism of the last days as the only remaining equivalent of the soul’s salvation. Strangely, Satan’s star does not appear in the Sibly chart, widely accepted as the true horoscope for the United States of America. (For my brief sidereal interpretation of that chart, see the book.)

This subset of 18 cases does, on the other hand, not look very dissimilar from the entire celebrity collection. Among those not qualifying for the current theme, namely “facing the Devil” in one’s choice of active life - what Jesus supposedly did during a 40 day fast in the (Qumran?) desert, there remains bus loads of cases containing the same kinds of tragic, hyper materialism or vices ascribable to Evil as personified by the star Algol.

This remark aside, the question now is whether the nature of Algol’s attempt to influence the Sun can be differentiated depending on whether Taurus, Venus or the visiting Sun is a so-called efficiently good or efficiently evil planet.  I have borrowed the Hindu astrologer Narasimha Rao’s scheme straight from the help to his complex computer program Jagannatha Hora and fixed what I believe were a few errors in the help file text.

Efficient nature of the planets
Yoga karaka Efficient benefic Efficiently neutral Efficient malefic
Aries --- Sol,Mar,Jup --- Mer,Ven,Sat
Taurus Sat Sol,Mer,Sat Mar Moo,Jup,Ven
Gemini --- Ven Moo,Mer,Sat Sol,Mar,Jup
Cancer Mar Moo,Mar,Jup Sol,Sat Mer,Ven
Leo Mar Sol,Mar,Jup Moo Mer,Ven,Sat
Virgo --- Mer,Ven Sol,Sat Moo,Mar,Jup
Libra Sat Mer,Ven,Sat --- Sol,Mar,Jup
Scorpio --- Moo,Jup Sol,Mar Mer,Ven,Sat
Sagittarius --- Sol,Mar Moo,Mer,Jup Ven,Sat
Capricorn Ven Ven,Mer,Sat Sol Mar,Jup
Aquarius Ven Ven,Sat Sol,Mer Moo,Mar,Jup
Pisces --- Moo,Mar Jup Sol,Mer,Ven,Sat

•    The temporary or accidental lords of the triangular (kona) houses 1, 5 and 9 in a horoscope are efficient benefactors.

(The help file here says kona houses FROM the ascendant, that is only houses 5 and 9. The introductory book on Jyotish “Light On Life,” however, includes the first house. One might call this the main triangular house since this is from which the experience of life proceeds. On the other hand, how can the localized experience by itself be regarded as the individual entity’s dharma (duty, soul-mission)?

One might argue both for the presence of two or three dharmic houses in a horoscope. I have chosen to recognize only the fifth house (the individual soul’s own house, the house of mainly good karma (purva punya), and the ninth house of universal dharma as true dharmic houses.)

•    The accidental lord of an angular (kendra) house (1, 4, 7, 10) is an efficient malefic if an essential benefic, and efficiently neutral if a natural or essential malefic!

•    Narasimha Rao did not list the Moon for the signs inhering in Rajas guna (the passionate quality), e.g. Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn. The functional or efficient nature of the Moon-mind are in these cases decided by the moon’s phase.  A waxing moon is an essential benefic and therefore turns into an efficient malefic when occupying a kendra house. Conversely a waning moon is an essential malefic but turns into an efficient well-doer when occupying the prominent type of house, the corner house. 

(Actually Rao’s help text here speaks of the sattvic signs, which seems a slip of the pen since they are indeed included in the tabulation. So the rajasic signs – with the exception of Cancer which is included in the table, must be what was meant.)

•    The temporary or accidental lords of houses 2, 8 and 12 are efficiently neutral with the eight somewhat inclined to evil results than the other two.

•    The temporary lords of houses 3, 6 and 11 are efficient malefics.

•    A planet simultaneously owning (accidentally) a kendra and a kona house becomes a yoga karaka and therefore a most excellent planet.

After noticing the efficient nature of the planet follows the next step in the analysis: where is this accidentally good, evil or neutral house owner himself; in what house does he (primarily) spread his influence (for better or worse)?

•    An efficient “do-gooder” of course benefits the horoscope as such but fine results may be expected when it occupies angular kendra houses or triangular kona houses.

•    An efficient evildoer in the kendras or konas is not good, unless secondary configurations manage to ward off the evils predicted for the house hosting the efficient evildoer.

•    An efficient evildoer in the evil dusshtana houses (3, 6, 8, 12) acts as an antidote and thus produces good in these houses! 

(“Dussthana” is said to mean “improvement” as the amoral, “Mercurial” third house of communication may be taught how to think straight and not lie. But as against the assertion that functional evildoers produce good in these, I have noted many cases where it simply is not true. Hindu style interpretation, even on a basic level is, however, so much more complicated than western astrology, I may well have missed to weigh in some important facets.)

Back to our 18 cases and the question regarding the “efficient” or “working” nature of Venus and its guest, the Sun. I here prefix Venus and Sol with “+”, “–“ or “±” depending on whether the planet produces good, evil or is just neutral (allowing its basic character to shine forth).

  1. William Lilly Asc.Aqu: ±SO +VE
  2. Eric Satie Asc.Can: ±SO -VE
  3. Birgit Nilsson Asc.Vir: ±SO +VE
  4. John Paul II Asc.Lib: -SO +VE
  5. Bobby Darin Asc.Ari: +SO -VE
  6. Dennis Hopper Asc.Sco: ±SO -VE
  7. George Lucas Asc.Ari: +SO -VE
  8. Brian Eno Asc.Pis: -SO -VE
  9. The Vixen Asc.Cap: ±SO +VE
  10. Jean-Marc Deperrois Asc.Vir: ±SO +VE
  11. David Byrne Asc.Leo: +SO -VE
  12. Pierce Brosnan Asc.Sag: +SO -VE
  13. Debra Winger Asc.Vir: ±SO +VE
  14. The Classic Beauty Asc.Lib: -SO +VE
  15. Trent Reznor Asc.Sag: +SO -VE
  16. Janet Jackson Asc.Sco: +SO -VE
  17. Tori Spelling Asc.Cap: ±SO +VE
  18. Megan Fox Asc.Vir: ±SO +VE

In passing, one notes the 18 rising signs evenly distributed among the Four Elements. The average is 4.5 ascendants per element and what little Air is missing has been handed over to Earth (6). Fancifully (since this is no doubt a chance fluctuation) one might argue that Earth ties in well with “the lord of this world” as Jesus called some unspecified demon, possibly Mammon seen as the evil and worthless one of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Belial, which appears to be just another name for the Devil himself.

The most negative among the elements is that most prone to selling its soul to the lord of low matter, since the element Earth indicates resources, localized resources like money going from pocket to pocket. (In a famous pericope from the New Testament Jesus won’t touch a Roman coin with his own hands. The money purse was carried, Essene style, by an adherent of presumably a lower degree of cleanliness/godliness than the Master himself – again true to the Essene community rules. The Devil’s influence was nothing to trifle with.)

But this assertion regarding the money-mindedness of Earth is not wholly true. The Vixen belonged to society’s lowest and least paid members, grudgingly attending on senior citizens in a state-owned retirement home. Here Algol appears mostly to have affected the attitude, which was negative and not very helpful (clearly the wrong person for the job).  And what of the actress Debra Winger (about whom I know even less)? Perhaps the answer is found in this old interview (from 2001 or thereabouts) from which noted the words “bad girl” in her most famous role against Richard Gere in “An Officer and a Gentleman.”


Satan as a despoiler or the archetypal Temptress? There’s no denying that Algol, if actually discernable among the many other astrological factors, has a wide spectrum. Sometimes he just seems to indicate people marked for bad luck (a bit like God allowing Satan free reins when attempting to reveal hypocrisy in the Biblical “good guy” Job). However, at the end of the interview Winger took a stand against the crazy money today’s actresses demand (and receive):
“It's boring. The money stands for something that's just less quality. Arliss and I have the How Much Money Does He Need? game. Like when you see someone well-known in a commercial, you go, "How much money do you need?" I just never required that much money. It corrupts. Bigger house? Bigger car? Who cares?”

We’ll return to this utterance in a while and see if it corresponds to a similar healthy distance between the planets involved with Algol, “The Corrupter.”
It’s hard not to smile when recognizing how well Scorpio, sign of toxic or auto toxic states, matches Dennis Hopper’s lost decades in druggy fogs or the similarly obvious fact that the above three Air ascendants all clearly point to the higher world of ideals. In “The Classic Beauty” there was the utter perfection in clothing and self-presentation; with Lilly it was his remarkably tight astrological predictions on behalf of his clients, and, of course, the generally humanitarian persona seen in Pope John Paul II.

It’s eminently suitable to find a Fire ascendant in the chart of cheap thriller and child movie producer George Lucas and his (former) Star Wars franchise. Fire also fits hand in glove with the versatile artist David Byrne and his predilection for fiery Latin (and African) music – world music. Just as logical is the discovery that world-famous and Earth heavy singing diva Birgit Nilsson was trapped in the conventionalistic opera format (Earth tends towards traditionalism but I believe there was an interview with Nilsson where she vented some exasperation at being on such a tight leash.) Janet Jackson’s Scorpio ascendant (unconscious reproductive force/libido) fits her sultry and secretive appearance (only sometimes offering a nipple slip) and solid foundation in soul and r&b music.

The only Cancer rising, Eric Satie, rhymes well with the soothing and mild music produced by this composer. Moon, lord of Cancer, rules over the nighttime, assimilation and recuperation. Satie’s music is a perfect tool for relaxing. It is something of a strange coincidence to find the shameless Satie plagiarizer Brian Eno in this small group whose least common denominator is the Devil, himself the envious copycat in reference to God.

To find Saturn (Capricorn) rising as the harsh Vixen was born fits astrological lore too. Often something stern and pent-up seems to lurk within these personalities but generally the repression is so strong they are perceived as calm and collected in a neutral sense. (See Barack Obama’s Saturn rising in his negative sign Capricorn!) That this women seldom bothered to smile pleasantly (smiling cost more in terms of bodily exertion) but never was far from an ugly facial frown, may be gleaned from the close conjunction between the dampening Saturn and the Moon-mind in cold Virgo combined with a Sun/Mars conjunction taking a direct hit from Satan’s star! (See chart below.) One wouldn’t have been surprised if told this horoscope belonged to a murderer.

Reviewing the results of tabulating the efficient nature of Sun and Venus one may wonder of what use this doctrine is when one generally says “good” while the other one signals “bad.” It is obvious tenets like this cannot be taken out of context. It is simplistic to cut astrology to pieces and except it to give simple answers. The astrologer may not excuse himself and think “hard numbers” will prove anything on the behalf of his subject. The above list of Sun and Venus placements for instance fails to take into consideration their actual house positions in the chart. One must grapple with each horoscope individually and come to terms with its “message.”

Take for examples the two anonymous ladies, The Vixen and The Classic Beauty. I conversed enough with both of them back in my twenties to get a good impression of both. (Curiously they were both born in Finland, but had apparently moved to Sweden to start all over.)

The Vixen

The Vixen held her cards tightly and incredibly difficult to establish a flowing mind-to-mind conversation with. (I should add that Finland is bi-lingual and both women spoke fluent Swedish as well as Finnish.) Her tone of voice was compressed the sentences came in spurts as if she was thinking every utterance through before voicing it – in itself rather typical of the controlled and organized Saturn/Capricorn. 

As seen, both Sun and Moon was afflicted by the essential or natural evildoers, from which one might predict a certain lack of grace (a good Sun and a good Moon makes for a smoother presentation). One might therefore argue that the question of the Sun and its dispositor Venus is not even a relevant in this particular horoscope, even though Capricorn rising makes Venus an efficient benefic.

And besides that, how well can one expect a Venus in communicative Gemini to function when locked-up in the evil sixth house of enemies and bad luck and furthermore disposed of by the pungent Mercury in Aries? This Mercury itself suffers from a “brutalization of the spirit” due to the clash between noble Fire and basal Earth; Mercury’s dispositor Mars is embedded in Earth even if disregarding the Algol effect here under consideration. Famous British astrologer Charles Carter rightly noted the stressful meeting of the pure power of cognition – Fire – and the material Earth saying nay, nay, nay. This sometimes infuriates Fire and we get an uncouth or even violent streak in the personality.

This is the first time in 35 years I review the chart and I am chocked to find the sidereal zodiac so perfectly describe the poorly developed personality I remember so well. Already in my twenties and a communicative young man (Moon in Gemini rising!) I reacted with wonderment at this slightly older workmate’s utter self-absorption and poverty of spirit (I was then only a year or two in to my study of Western astrology and frankly could not make much of the charts I calculated; depending as I did on shallow cook book interpretations of chart details isolated from the whole.)

The Classic Beauty

The Classic Beauty was something entirely different! Whereas The Vixen’s personality and appearance could at best be described as non-descript, here was the graceful Libra rising fully consistent with the beauty sometimes seen in this sign. Earlier, I mentioned Hollywood movie star Alison Doody (Sun, Moon and Venus in Libra!) to evoke a similar image

The Classic Beautry always wore stylish black clothes, had a perfectly shaped face with high cheekbones and big and beautiful eyes somberly watching and perhaps revealing some personal sadness deep within. The long blonde hair partly covered her face and one eye; lips painted fiercely red. She appeared to very consciously have adapted the look of those femme fatales of the 1940’s film noir movies. In other words, she was a “perfect ten” far beyond this once youthful bar hopper’s league.

That the blogger struck a conversation can only be explained by the fact that life is more than surfaces appearances and the woman’s Libra rising in its twenty-fourth degree perfectly matches his very communicative ascendant ruler, Mercury in the expressive fifth house in the twenty-seventh degree of Libra. Sometimes you somehow sense connections...

This chart too has not seen the light of day since before my conversion to the sidereal zodiac some eight years ago, and the true zodiac clearly shows sparks flying! Especially not Libra rising has Venus as an efficient benefic on its side and it does not greatly matter that it has an egocentric tendency in Aries (clearly evident from her self-conscious way of dressing up even on normal workdays). Although not invariably so, this axis between Air and Fire often indicates charisma and clearly so when Venus is prominent (in an angular house) and in Fire and instills “visibility” in the Venusian ascendant sign.

Her stellium in Sagittarius with a Moon-mind both colored by the jovial Sagittarius and the restrictive and distant Saturn, perfectly describes her mind. She was extremely even-tempered and had none of that blurting out seen in The Vixen. Her vocabulary was vastly superior to the average Swede (I guess the Swedish speaking parts of Finland has preserved the language better than Sweden whose low-brow national psychology has been firmly established for centuries and whose preferences for all things American only makes the national poverty more obvious.) The restaurant where we met to talk typically attracted young people with artistic ambitions; maybe her command of the language indicated a hopeful young writer, I no longer remember what her aspirations were.

The hidden sorrow I faintly discerned can either be traced to the dispositor of the charismatic Venus in Aries, Mars sunk in cold and sorrowful water and furthermore in the sixth house of enemies and bad luck (and ill health). Or, the very same configuration also serves as the base for the Algol afflicted Sun in the gloomy and evil eighth house of sin, corruption and death. The presence of two routes to a dark secret strengthens the case for some sorrow in her past which might even explain why she had reinvented herself as a movie star character in a new country. (We never got that deep during our conversations, but eighth house afflictions may indicate both domestic violence and sexual abuse…)

In contrast with the first woman’s Moon with joyless Saturn in plain and prosaic Earth, we here found the opposite. Saturn is still serious and grave, but immensely lighter in Fire and furthermore tempered by the optimism of Jupiter.
The normally quite selfish Venus in egocentric Aries is tempered too, due to the weakness of its dispositor Mars in Pisces, the sign of self-sacrifice. (This combination in itself brings Fire and Water together, which, too, causes electrifying qualities – artist Madonna’s sidereal chart is almost entirely a “sensationalistic” clash between these two elements that try to defeat one another.)

Interestingly, the Sun is an efficient evildoer as the co-operative Libra rises in the east. The last thing Libra needs in its orientation towards equality between all parts involved, is a strong solar king entering into the ego and high and mighty tries to adjudicate matters in his own person. This has the unfortunate effect that people born at sunrise in Libra in some sense are their own worst enemies. They might declare that co-operation is the ideal but still cannot help but put themselves first and foremost! (Note: the Sun indicates one’s soul, one’s deep individuality. Here individuality is expressed primarily through the ego or own body.)

Therefore it’s actually a good to find the Sun put aside in the “passive” eighth house in the chart of the Classic Beauty while also lessening the possible influence of Algol upon her own personality. As the Sun represents ones daytime activity (and possibly a career resulting therefrom), one might of course ask what became of this lady. I have met with other Suns in eight, people with very modest ambitions… In one case the man chose to become the “housewife” or homemaker since his wife had much better career opportunities. He suffered from some psychological disorders and house 8 is an evil house in Hindu astrology. Perhaps we can here see old and bad karma slowly being burned away.

Unfortunately none of these two cases were of much help in isolating a possible “Algol effect,” and this due to the scarcity of biographical data. Judging from the eighth house Sun/Algol the Classic Beauty may well have left a former life in Finland marred by some tragic death. In the case of the male homemaker there was a family scandal consonant with the eighth house: a  relative some time back in the family history had been a convicted murderer. Might the man with the psychological disorder be the reincarnation of his forefather? Ian Stevenson M.D. who studied children with memories of their past lives found the pattern of being reborn in the same close circle a very common one…

In the case of actor Pierce Brosnan and his loss of a young wife to cancer, Sun and Algol is seen in the sixth house of bad luck and illness. He also has Venus as an efficient evildoer and moreover prominently placed in Pisces (whose ruler Jupiter itself has been relegated to the sixth house of bad luck). It would seem this man was born with exceedingly bad omens regarding relations to the other sex!

I will close this little investigation into Algol’s possible influence by commenting on the one case among all eighteen that has Satan’s head on top of the chart, in the tenth house of power. Algol in a kendra house means prominent manifestation and sure enough the planet suddenly becomes highly visible!

David Byrne

This chart belongs to David Byrne, artist and founder of the legendary rock band Talking Heads (note the occurrence of “head” in the band name). He is, if anything, known as a good-hearted eccentric. And what do we have here if not the evil star in its most harmless appearance, as the Trickster? (In my book I noted that the very funny bad boy Charlie Sheen and his “devilish” pranks remind one of Pan, the “horny” god of nature, which must be held in mind whenever thinking of the Devil as Tempter.)

Recall Byrne’s disproportional scene costume way back, poking fun of mankind and their shrunken heads and shriveled intellects. The Devil IS STUPID and only stupid people are enticed by his hollow promises of wealth and power (studying Algol therefore necessitates the parallel study of the intelligence indicated in the horoscope). On the early Talking Heads records, Byrne repeatedly satirizes stupid tools, deluded citizens or puffed-up bureaucrats – exactly like his Algol/Devil on top of the tenth house of power makes of mockery of such characters! (Note how the Sun generally stands for people in leadership positions, so Algol here is seen so make a joke of this class and not e.g. the Moon, the man in the street.)

So finally we hit the bull’s eye in our search, but not Algol as an Accuser but more as a good-nature ironic! Venus is the planet of the fine arts (and certainly not only a significator of money and harlots), and in this department we find an interesting variant of the aforementioned “brutalization of the spirit” (the head-on collision between the visionary Fire and the stupidity of the total Earth materialization). We see it in young Byrne’s toying about and use of a spastic body language as well as in his love for highly energetic music, free flowing but also prone to strange staccato and odd turns and twists. You can hear the visionary hammering away and remolding the already given forms (finalized Earth products).

In this collision between Fire and Earth we focus on Venus, and this modifies the message. Venus is an efficient malefic for Leo rising (this is the logical opposite of a rising Libra Sun being evil). Perhaps Byrne’s spastic movements and queer antics are expressions of this lack of comfort in Venus as a source of trouble. I seem to recall a number of old lyrics using houses as metaphor for the bodily hut. Was the younger Byrne estranged from his own bodily being and therefore prone to ridiculing others who was stuck in roles and worldly positions?

One might also note that Byrne repeats the charismatic axis between Libra and Aries seen in the Classic Beauty. Here it is perfect since the sign rulers exchange sign with each other (“a mutual reception”). Besides, a much larger scope of vision compared to the young woman who made herself into a work of art, may be predicted from Byrne’s axis. His very creative opposition bridges the third house of communications (including song and dance in Hindu astrology) and the ninth house of unconditional curiosity (basic research), far travel, religion and philosophy.

There is certainly philosophy in his lyrics, but cleverly hid from the fools who can only see the eccentric surface. He is a unique personality with contradictory tendencies, clearly somewhat to the left in political views but also very materialistic in his love for stuff, shapes and colors.

That Byrne, without ever having suspected that the Devil wants his soul according to ancient astrology, still has some awareness of this fact appears from this old album cover. Surely a hint of possession here! :-)

Monday, December 7, 2015

Oxford's leg wound

I don't know what impression I must have made on a long lost friend in the past, but after resuscitating our contact she found my hypothetical falling into a well to be a highly likely event and a good reason for buying a cell phone when the need for an emergency call arose! (I had long ago decided to pass on that particular contraption, apparently a cause of concern to her.)

Further on in our talk we got around to comparing the blows dealt us by life during the intervening fifteen years (what is time, really?). As I thought her son's recent breaking a thumb was really nothing to speak of, I felt obliged to contribute my own silly story of sleepwalking on the way home in the wee morning hours in April 2005 after a particularly taxing birthday party and falling literally head over heels into the water, just in front of City Hall in Stockholm, Sweden, not far from where I live!

I came to consciousness several meters below the water level and had a brief near death experience in which I saw three bold men staring at me as if observing a primitive species. For some reason I immediately identified them as  Egyptian high priests, apparently known to me but now without their wigs on! (Where do you get these strange ideas from?) I instantly accused them for setting up my current predicament: "You know that I've already passed this water test," I angrily sent them a "telepathic" reproval as if they had had something to do with my suddenly veering to the left, getting a foot stuck in an iron handle protruding from the cobblestone and concrete quay flooring and tipping over into the water. 

Stockholm City Hall and adjoining quay

I eventually betook myself out of the water but found a foot damaged from being bent in an unnatural angle while stuck in the iron handle. The little stunt also left a disfiguring scar for life on my right shin after scraping the leg against some sharp metal on the way down.

In November that same year a certain "Oxford" appeared in a dream of mine. I relate the circumstances of that encounter in chapter 10 of my book, "Emerald Oxford, an Echo of the Bard." Upon waking from the dream I had not the faintest idea what it was about besides its stark realism, its period dresses and its spoken English (a Swede, I had never dreamed in the English language before, although once in grammatically correct French - a language I am not familiar with). After googling and reading up on Tudor England (which the dream so clearly pointed to) I was certain I had caught a glimpse of the 17th Earl of Oxford in that dream, a person I had never heard of before. I soon discovered he too had suffered a leg wound at some point in his life. But that was in 2005-06, and only after the recent telephone conversation awoke a renewed interest in Oxford's leg wound.

Amazon's book search feature is surprisingly helpful for amateur research and I now discover that the famous fencing debacle when the Earl was only seventeen too involved a leg. While fencing, the Earl wounded a cook in his left thigh and death eventually resulted from the scar becoming infected. Oxfordians, who claim Oxford is the real author of everything ascribed to the pen name Shakespeare, have pointed to three mentions of a leg wound in The Sonnets, and Oxford seems to have suffered one too due to a long-standing feud with one Thomas Knyvett regarding the latter's family honour.

It might seem like a case of boomerang karma, accidentally causing another person's death in one's youth, nourishing that would unconsciously until later in life it manifests on one's own body in a street skirmish. As for this blogger's scarred shin it would have been highly amusing to know if Oxford had his right leg damaged too, and if so, thigh or shin!

I am here making an obscure reference to the outlandishly strange findings of the late Ian Stevenson, M.D., in his research spanning three decades on children who remember past lives and what what in that life caused some prominent birthmark or physical abnormality on their present body. It is usually a violent death in the previous life which leads to vivid memories in the next, and the wound has, in the case of birthmarks, mostly healed only leaving a reminder on the skin to mark out the place of the previous body trauma.

Is it possible that a soul in the earth may recapitulate a series of previous lives during the course of the present lifetime so that entering upon a new phase may activate "memories" even of former bodies? In my book, I noted that the Hindu dasha system (which I knew nothing about at the time) had put me on a new course in 2005: this lifetime's only 17 year period ruled by Mercury, lord of the scribes!
Vimsottari Dasa:

 Mercury MD:  2005-08-19  -  2022-08-19

  Antardasas in this MD:

  Mer:  2005-08-19  -  2008-01-14
  Ket:  2008-01-14  -  2009-01-10
  Ven:  2009-01-10  -  2011-11-13
  Sun:  2011-11-13  -  2012-09-19
  Moo:  2012-09-19  -  2014-02-15
  Mar:  2014-02-15  -  2015-02-12
  Rah:  2015-02-12  -  2017-09-04
  Jup:  2017-09-04  -  2019-12-10
  Sat:  2019-12-10  -  2022-08-19

Having just entered in the major cycle (maha dasha I was approached by an aqcuaintance during the summer asking me to work for him as a translator (English to Swedish). Speak of a clear cut entry into the "time of Mercury," the scribe and communicator of messages from other worlds or tongues! In early 2008 the company I was then translating for got into economic problems and folded, in perfect harmony with the end of the first sub-cycle (antardasha).

I believe I might have tapped into what Carl Jung called the collective (Western) unconscious (if removing his attempt to tie it to genetics). The dream (retold in some detail in my book) was so well explained by the Oxfordian theory of a love child resulting from a brief affair between the aging Queen Elizabeth and the young Lord and subsequently denied by both. This story is said to lie hidden in The Sonnets and after reading Hank Whittemore's masterful The Monument, I, being a sometime computer programmer, can only agree this looks like the nobleman's diary written in secret code.

Edward de Vere's time of birth seems not to have been recorded even though textual sources of from his adult life lauds his astrological acumen. But thanks to a detailed report on the young Lord's accidentally killing the cook it's not hard to see how that fateful summer evening must have left a distinct scar in his soul. Another Oxfordian, Paul Hemenway Altrocchi, M.D., even thinks "Shakespeare's" deep judicial learning sprang from this accident. Oxford, he says, closely followed the development of the legislation concerning a case like his own, and wove it into his writing.

As the approximate time of the fateful event is known, I put it in the inner circle and the Lord's chart in the outer just so that the ascendant (of the inner circle) will lie to the left at approx. nine o'clock, Western style.

As the earliest Western testimony to systematic astrology, Manilius' Astronomica speaks of a reciprocal influence between the earthly division of the heavens into twelve mundane temples or houses and the heavens (carrying the planets) themselves, I have adopted the practice of accepting aspects from the natal chart to the horoscope for the time/event in question, as well as the common aspects to the nativity cast by the transiting planets.

In this case we see the ominous massing of bad omens toward the end of Taurus, Leo and Aquarius. Even if not exact to the degree, I suggest the actual occurrence of an event to be in Leibniz' sense, the best possible world or moment, given the circumstances. That is, on balance, the event occurs at the perfect moment although one planet may have left its optimal position while another is not at his. For instance, in the above chart note how transiting Mars at 24 Taurus has just passed Oxford's Venus at the 23rd degree, while transiting Venus has still two degrees left before exactly opposing the nobleman's planet of accidents at 30 Aquarius. I have tested this assumption (or hypothesis) in a (very) few cases of airplane accidents and found it appeared to hold water. 

But the point most obviously drawing attention to itself is Oxford's inborn Moon/Mars conjunction disposed by Lord Death (Saturn). Look at the transiting Moon, only one degree from Oxford's provisional Moon position (at midday) while more importantly the deadly contest takes place during the time Capricorn rose in the east, signifying the capricious and wounding horn (cornus)! (The symbol of course refers to self-styled autocrats, to dictators. For the good and generous ruler, check the sign Leo.) 

At around 7:30 PM Oxford's natal Lord Death is activated by the Capricorn's rising degree, thus doubly emphasizing the lunar "day-to-day" rut which in the young Lord's life also is spiced with martial energy; a Mars which also just so happens to be the dispositor of his Sun sign Aries and thus involved in the milestones of the nobleman's life.

Do we need to spell it out in more detail? Then look to the transiting Lord Death and its opposition to Aquarius. All was set for a heavy psychic (lunar) trauma at this time in the young Lord's life. True sidereal astrology corroborates the findings of the astute literary researches of the Oxfordian persuasion.



The power of the zodiac is all too evident as the horned Capricornus was rising during Oxford's unfortunate fencing accident. While googling, I found an interesting article on the word "fencing," in connection with Edward de Vere as well as regarding its use in Shakespeare.  

The author of this small investigative piece calls attention to the early mention (1578) of "fencing" in the English language in this poem by, presumedly, Oxford's hand. I, for my part, stare hypnotized at his mention of the weapon crossing and possibly marking one's opponent's shins.

By Fencing grows our terms of the Bravado,
Our foins and thrusts, the deadly stab and all:
Which some more finely call a Stabbado,
And some a blow, a cleanly wipe can call.
And some a rake, that crosseth both the shins,
Now with such stuff this joyful sport begins.

The archetypes are such that the more you work them, the more they keep giving. Case in point: In about 1985, a young man about seven years my junior was hired to my then workplace. After just a few days and in a spur of imagination I nicknamed him "Rocco" (or "Rocko" - I never bothered to put it into writing until now). His real name, Patrick, bore no obvious resemblance to the nick and I had no idea from where I got it. Possibly, there might have been a subconscious influence from popular culture; Sylvester Stallone's Rocky franchise had been operative since 1976, although I had never seen and was not interested in movies about boxing.

Only months before this man arrived, Lucy, a young women of twenty had been hired and there was immediate attraction between us. However, I soon became unsure of my feelings toward her because of her very forward personality. I also learned she was the premier Swedish fencer in her age group, and a martial arts practitioner to boot! (For my part I had spent time in prison because of my refusal to touch weapons when drafted for military service a few years earlier!) I began to sense a hidden male within Lucy, which felt strange, and that was the end of that budding romance. The interesting thing is that she, the newly arrived "Rocco" and I, still came to form a very close-knit circle within the staff and spent much time together apart from the work hours. 

It was only decades later, during my web research in the wake of the Oxford dream that I came upon a bit of information that, again, strangely tallies with present life events. Oxford appears to have been familiar with an Italian fence master name Rocco who had established himself in London and taught the art. The "Rocco" in this life was incredibly skilled with hand and a fast and precise illustrator! He was invariably taken for a Southerner due to his ink black hair and slightly dark complexion.

I know what you're thinking now good reader, but no, I'm not seriously claiming to be Shakespeare reborn. But, as mentioned, the archetypes, like Plotinus' The One, is not grudgeful but keeps on giving to whoever does some digging! Perhaps our life is just as the Bard described it, woven of ultimately unreal dream stuff - what the Hindus call Maya.

Can psyche impress the soma
through real life events and within
the year produce a dream presenting
a close historic parallel?
(See my book for further details.)

PS. In my book I present a speculative chart for the Earl based on the time of my awakening from the dream. If applying that same time (8 AM) to Oxford's natal Moon in Aquarius, the transiting Moon on the night of the fencing accident becomes exact to the degree to Oxford's! Just one of those things...