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! :-)

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