Transits – October 16 to November 29, 2020: The Homestretch — The Stars Within Their Courses (Reblog)

We are finally near the end of 2020, which has been quite a year. The reason that this year has been so difficult is that we are in a time of transition. For more information about this transition, see: 2020 – An Earth-Shattering Year This year will culminate in a Jupiter/Saturn conjunction, which is also […]

Transits – October 16 to November 29, 2020: The Homestretch — The Stars Within Their Courses

Malefic Times — Bending Backward (Reblog)

From the 23rd to 26th, helio Mercury traverses the Uranus, Earth, and Mars conjunction that is t-squaring Ven and Ju/Sat/Pl. The geo Mer direct station on the USA election bodes poorly, in a sharp t-square to JSPL, ruling a moon afflicted by a Nep sq. Note Nep at Bendings, also. Ur-Sun and Ven-Mars oppositions too, […]

Malefic Times — Bending Backward

Astrology & Health: Scorpio

In western astrology, Scorpio is the 8th sign of the zodiac, or ‘star sign’. It is classified as fixed water, though just how fixed water can be is anyone’s guess, unless one imagines a powerful channel, torrent, or waterfall. It is often described as the sign of ‘sex, death and regeneration’.

Traditionally the sign is ruled by Mars in its ‘darker’, more concentrated aspect. Since the discovery of Pluto in 1930, many astrologers believe that the outermost known planet, so termed, has superseded the rulership of the sign; I used to accept this too, but I have returned to a more traditionally based astrology lately.

All Hallows’ Day, Winters’ Beginning

Of course, this is also the time of year for Halloween and, more traditionally, Samhain, the ancient pagan festival celebrating the end of the harvest and the beginning of winter. November 1 is All Saints’, or All Hallows’ Day in Christianity. The sun has begun moving southward with Libra; now it begins to plunge into the depths towards darkness, at least from the perspective of those of us living north of the equator, where the daylight hours recede rapidly.

There is a polarity with this, Samhain in Scorpio exactly opposing the spring festival Beltane on May 1, in the sign of Taurus.

Sex Organs — And the Throat

In fact polarity is a key feature of astrology and bears heavily upon health. Taurus is the opposing sign of Scorpio, the former ruling the neck and throat. Scorpio traditionally rules the sexual organs, and it is interesting to note that when a male reaches puberty, the voice too assumes its more manly, deeper sound; think of all the choir boys whose careers end at this point!

As Taurus rules self security, Scorpio rules security in relation to others — hence the deeper, more secretive aspects of this much maligned sign, which ultimately needs to engage with ‘the other’ for its own security. This is why the sign is associated with sex and secrecy. It is often also said that Scorpio creates the greatest saints — but also the worst sinners. Maybe this is why the sign’s glyph is the scorpion, with the famous sting in the tail.

The Number 8 — and Weak Points

Numerologists out there would already be nodding their heads at Scorpio being the 8th sign, 8 being the sign of infinity, relating to the sign’s deep, penetrative and fundamental life and death associations, which are ultimately a mystery.

So as Scorpio rules the generative organs, they are often considered a ‘weak point’ in the strongly Scorpio type. Equally, there can be issues with the throat too, through Taurus. Fixed signs like Scorpio are often also more susceptible to arthritis and rheumatism.

However, being ruled by powerful Mars, the strongly Scorpio type is usually very robust and resistant to diseases.

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

*Health, weight loss and fitness are interlinked.

Money, wealth and prosperity (Reblog)

The Devi of wealth is Devi Laxmi the wife of Shri Vishnu. They are the kinetic and potential energies of the Satva gun. All wealth in this universe …

Money, wealth and prosperity

French Composer Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns — Exalted & Dignified: Astrology Musings

When we talk about classical music today, 19th and early 20th century French romantic composer, pianist and organist, Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns, may not figure in the highest echelons in terms of outright popularity.

Ok, so he isn’t Bach, Mozart or Beethoven, nor Schubert, Schuman or Wagner, but in astrological terms, much deeper than the mere superfluous realm of ‘star signs’, he makes a most interesting study indeed.

Child Prodigy

This fellow Saint-Saëns was certainly a remarkable child prodigy and composer, whose musical abilities did appear to come rather easily to him. Anyone who could produce works of the quality of, for example, ‘Danse Macabre’, ‘Carneval Des Animaux’ and ‘Samson & Delilah’, must certainly qualify as being near to the pinnacle of their profession.

He went on to be a very well travelled international figure, as well as being highly honoured, receiving the French Grand Cross of Legion d’Honneur in 1913. He was also inspirational; Faure and Ravel were both strongly influenced by him, for example.

Paris Conservatoire

By the age of 6 this prodigy was already composing, performing as a pianist by the time he was 10. He entered the Paris Conservatoire aged 13 and composed his first symphony when he was 18.

Saint-Saëns became quite a scholar of musical history, too, developing a more conservative, traditional approach to compositional structure, something which set him against the more modern trends of the early 20th century, which evidently wanted to turn everything on its head, as in other artistic fields such as painting.

Controversy and tragedy affected him too at times. Marrying later in life, to a much younger woman (to the surprise of those who knew him) the relationship would appear to have always been difficult, or strained. Nevertheless, the couple had two sons. However, in 1878 an appalling tragedy struck when the 2 year old Andre fell to his death from their Parisian flat window.

Tragedy & Disappearance

Only six weeks later, young Jean Francois died of pneumonia. This effectively ended their marriage. In 1881 whilst on holiday with his wife, he suddenly disappeared, later writing her a letter of explanation — that we would not be coming back. Even so, the couple never divorced. Speculation has remained as to Saint-Saëns’ sexuality.

Overall, however, this remarkable man led a very successful and productive life. I was intrigued to come across his birth data, so that I could assess him astrologically.

One of the most remarkable features of his chart is the positive placement of most planets. In traditional astrology, a planet is said to be exalted, or function at its best, in certain signs. In Saint-Saëns’ case, he has Saturn exalted in Libra, the Moon exalted in Taurus and Jupiter exalted in Cancer. Would might this mean in terms of interpretation?

Exaltation

Let’s begin with Saturn in Libra. Saturn, often still called the Greater Malefic, signifies limitation, boundaries, structure; in Libra, the Cardinal Air sign, this function is well reasoned, balanced in the most positive way. I will return to Saturn shortly.

Then we have the Moon exalted in Taurus. The Moon represents our responses, emotions, feelings; in Taurus (also ruled by Venus like Libra), these qualities are at their most grounded and fruitful.

We now turn to Jupiter, the Greater Benefic, exalted in Cancer. Jupiter is expansion, optimism; in Cancer, ruled by the Moon, expansion is given a nourishing, homely expression, like a blessing upon the base of our lives, quite often our mainspring for success in life.

A Charming, though Dignified Bearing

What is more, Saint-Saëns had other planets which were ‘dignified’. What do I mean? Dignity in astrological terms refers to a planet being in the sign of its rulership.

Firstly, he has Venus in Libra, the principal of unity given a highly balanced and considered expression; an ideal of beauty, balance and peace.

Then he also has Mars in Scorpio, which it traditionally rules. I personally do not subscribe to the ‘modern’ notion that outer planet Pluto rules Scorpio. Mars is energy, activity; in Scorpio, the Martian energy is concentrated, somewhat emotive, and also secretive — yet even so, well placed if one wishes to achieve something deeper, meaningful.

Natural Gifts

So what are we to make of all this ‘positivity’, the level of which I haven’t come across too many times before? Overall, it may represent the positive gifts he was born with, Saint-Saëns’ ability to create, seemingly with ease and with the blessings of his local universe.

Let us now return to Saturn, which was rising conjunct the ascending degree in Libra, closely followed by his Sun and Venus in the same sign of the Scales. A Libran ascendant is courteous, diplomatic, often charming, yet with Saturn so close to this degree, one would expect a certain amount of caution too, perhaps manifesting as a kind of dignity in the manner and appearance, which might seem at times like a little shyness, reticence, even haughtiness.

Conservatism, Good Fortune & Fixed Stars

As said above, limiting and conservative Saturn is indeed ‘exalted’ in Libra, so it is not surprising that later in life he grew to be noted for his conservative outlook, plus the deliberately structured nature of most of his works. He tended to favour the more traditional compositional styles in the long run, even though as a younger composer, he accepted the then ‘modern’ trends of such men as Wagner, without truly embracing what they stood for.

At this point I would like to introduce the fixed star, Spica, which is also conjunct the ascendant and close to Saturn. I have only recently begun to reintroduce certain fixed stars (the 15 Behenian Fixed Stars) into my method of interpretation — I think they can be highly significant.

Spica, traditionally, is said to be of the nature of Venus and Mars, a star of good fortune. This is thought to confer general happiness, honour and preferment. If we take out his short lived marriage and the major life changing tragedy of his young sons, Saint-Saëns’ life in general was very fortunate.

Keen Student of Musical History

This fixed star is also close to Saturn, conferring interests in the occult and history too. It is known that he was a keen student of musical history, which had a strong influence upon his compositional style.

Saint-Saëns’ Sun conjunct Venus in the Libra ascendant, would only underline the charm, diplomacy and overall affability of his personage. There would also be a certain amount of sophistication about his presence too, attention to his appearance, probably a liking for traditional fashion (Saturn in Libra conjunct ascendant) and being ‘just so’.

With all this Libra in his chart, he would certainly have craved company too; he might not have felt whole without a ‘partner’ in life. So it is perhaps a surprise that he did not marry until he was around 40. Some have speculated about his sexuality, although it could simply be that he was rather fussy; Librans often have trouble making up their minds, being seekers of perfection with high ideals.

Humour & Magnanimity

His exalted Moon in Taurus would provide relatively stable emotions, pleasant responses to stimuli, perhaps underlining the conservative streak. However, his Moon is also in good sextile aspect to the equally exalted Jupiter in Cancer.

Photo by Fernando Arcos on Pexels.com

I think there would have been a distinctly good humoured and magnanimous quality about him too, that would have been highly beneficial to him in his career, for Jupiter is housed in his career house and his exalted Moon is ruler of that 10th house. He was fortunate.

Jupiter is also the planet of expansion and projection, physically and mentally. Saint-Saëns became highly travelled through his lifetime, making 179 trips to 27 countries, an astonishing tally.

Much Travel & A Well Developed Mentality

This Jupiter is also close to the fixed star Sirius, generally considered another positive indication. This infers much travel in the career, usually by sea (Jupiter in Cancer), plus a generally caring nature.

His dignified Mars in Scorpio is conjunct communicative Mercury in the 2nd house, ruler of the 9th house of philosophy, the higher mind and travel. This gave him a highly powerful, penetrating, determined and energetic mentality, probably an endless curiosity too, which drove him on in his practical working life. Mars is also the ruler of this house: This was no day dreamer — he wanted practical results. As a young student he was highly proficient in many profound subjects and had a particular love of astronomy throughout his life.

That Trying T-Square

If I may turn to the less positive aspects of his known life, namely the failed late marriage and his sons’ untimely demises, it may be symbolised in what is known as a T-square formation, involving his first house Sun and Venus in Libra, opposite Pluto in the 7th house, both squaring (90 degrees) Jupiter in the 10th house. This is certainly an indication that all would not be plain sailing in personal relationships, which would certainly impinge upon his career and aims.

As I have stated before, these days I do not see the outer planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto as at all positive influences. They are not ‘higher octaves’, as they were once deemed: if anything they are lower, baser influences. They have to be overcome, indicating areas of our life where there could be potential pit falls, or worse.

Potential Disruption in Troubled Relationships

Pluto in the 7th house certainly forewarns one of marriage and/or partnership disruption, especially so as the same planet is opposite (challenging aspect) the harmony seeking Sun and Venus in Libra in his first house; Pluto is directly threatening potential termination, if one is not careful.

I would also imagine that personal relationship issues, such as those indicated by this Sun and Venus opposite Pluto, would have also threatened his career, and also the stability of home and family life: Exalted Jupiter in Cancer is in itself an overall indication of good fortune in family concerns, but maybe serious relationships, such as marriage, constituted a threat.

To Marry, or not to Marry

It is easy to say in retrospect, of course, but would it have been advisable for him not to have married? Did the conventions of the day ‘force’ him into doing what every one else did? He was, after all, quite a conservative in many ways.

Equally, we have the presence of the other two outer planets, Uranus and Neptune in the 5th house of children, speculation and creativity. The potential to have ‘problems’ with offspring are indicated here; Uranus can turn things upside down with sudden, unexpected events; Neptune confuses issues, although no one could have envisaged the tragedy that befell his young family. And whilst controlling Saturn forms a loose positive trine aspect with Uranus, which might have lessened the impact of the rebellious planet, the potential negativity of Uranus would still be there.

I found Saint-Saëns the most fascinating character to study. I have to say that I really like him; I am sure he would have been most agreeable to meet, to talk to, to be simply be around.

Most of all, we can all still enjoy the quality of his compositions.

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

*The best of Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns. And a biography.

Transits for the Libra-Scorpio Lunation — Becca Tarnas (Reblog)

The deep rhythms of Mars square the Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto stellium continue to sound the bass notes of this next lunation cycle that unfolds in the heart of autumn. As the cycle begins with the Libra New Moon, Mercury is already retrograde, traversing through the sign of Scorpio. Mercury retrograde reminds us to slow down, be mindful […]

Transits for the Libra-Scorpio Lunation — Becca Tarnas

*A guide to astrology.

Jules Verne — Father of Science Fiction: Astrology Musings

French 19th century writer, Jules Verne, has been rightly lauded for his literary creations. To many he is simply the father of modern science fiction.

Jules was the son of a magistrate and went on to study law in the footsteps of his father. However, he soon developed a keen interest in the theatre and began writing plays and opera librettos. Fantasy was a subject which consumed him, as did travel and adventure. Gradually his creative processes overtook any interest in pursuing a career in the law, much to the chagrin of his father.

Later, books like ‘From the Earth to the Moon’, ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’, ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’ and ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’ became legendary and are still popular today.

The Forward Thinking Aquarian

So astrologically speaking, can we glean what made this farsighted man tick?

Although I have a little doubt as to the accuracy of the birth time, given as 12 pm (midday) precisely, I suspect he was born very close to this.

I was not at all surprised to discover his Sun and Mercury conjunct a 9th house midheaven. Aquarians are noted for their farsightedness and detachment. However, I believe too much has been accredited to Uranus as being the new ruler of Aquarius.

The traditional ruler is Saturn and this will always be the case. There are two sides to Saturn: the ambitious, materialistic, highly organised side as seen in the sign of Capricorn; and the detached, scientific and farsighted side which is Aquarius. The forward thinking element of Aquarius is down to Saturn’s careful, seriously communicative and associative side. I think this latter notion forms an accurate backcloth to Jules Verne’s career as a writer and literary prophet.

Science and Adventure

In a nutshell, his sun and Mercury in Aquarius close to the MC in the 9th house, says so much about Jules, his life and career. The MC or midheaven indicates the nature of our aspiration, probably our career.

Sagittarius and the 9th house also relate to the law, so if he had followed his father’s career this would also have been quite fitting, though probably not as rewarding.

Aquarians are scientific in approach and the 9th house relates to long distance travel (adventure), the higher mind and philosophy. Jules was to push the boundaries of writing in terms of science fiction far more than anyone else known up to that time.

With Gemini rising, Jules had a youthful, insatiable, witty curiosity too, which simply had to communicate knowledge to others. Mercury is his ruling planet, therefore, being the ruler of Gemini and assumes much importance in this chart; Mercury in Aquarius is both tenacious and experimental, especially in the 9th house.

Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com

Ideals and Fantasy

Interestingly, Venus well placed in Pisces in the 10th house (career again), is probably symbolic of his love of ideals and fantasy, plus their unifying ability. Neptune is in good aspect to his Venus, and whilst I see the outer planets as wholly negative influences these days, nevertheless this aspect will only increase the strength of his imagination and inspiration. Here may have been his initial interest in the theatre, performance and music.

What is more, Venus is part of what is called a Grand Trine in the water signs and practical ‘earth’ houses, the 2nd, 6th and 10th. Venus trines both Saturn in the 2nd house and the Moon and Jupiter in the 6th house.

‘Grand Trine’

Jules was clearly, despite being a detached Aquarian on one level, a highly emotional person too, usually kindly and generous but also likely very secretive too. He was able to utilise his great depth of feeling in practical ways and we the public of the world have benefited from this.

Saturn in Cancer is difficult, however, indicating a lack of feeling at one level; the Moon in Scorpio too is not so easy, highly emotional and secretive. Yet Jupiter so close to the Moon and in good aspect to both Venus and Saturn, brings out the positivity of this Grand Trine. And Jupiter is of course the planet of the higher mind and travel, subjects which were close to his heart.

Romantic

Venus being in romantic Pisces indicates a love of being in love, an almost spiritual attitude towards relationships. This would have brought much pain from time to time.

This Venus as part of the Grand Trine, links it to Jupiter, ruler of the 7th house of relationships. I’m sure in many ways he was hopelessly romantic. It is interesting to note that Jules married a widow with two children — Venus aspects to Saturn often indicate loss in relationships, subjects who marry older, more experienced spouses.

Difficult Relationships

Mars in Sagittarius in his 7th house of relationships indicates eventful and possibly difficult partnerships; even powerful enemies. Uranus is in positive aspect to his Mars, yet the influence of Uranus is always to disrupt, break apart. Relations with his father, son and business partner were often strained.

When Jules Verne departed this life in 1905, he left a literary contribution that is unparalleled. One wonders what he would have made of our own world — and what would a modern Jules Verne write about?

*Four leather bound Jules Verne novels in one.

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

Astrology Has an Interesting History — Class Warfare Blog (Reblog)

Astrology goes way back so I assume it has a pre-history (going back 6000+ years or so) but there is little we can learn about such beliefs before there were written records of what they were. In any case we can learn two things from this long-standing belief. For one, people looked up and studied […]

Astrology Has an Interesting History — Class Warfare Blog

‘Libra’ Astrology Digital Download on Etsy

Downloadable in two formats, pdf (primary) and jpg. Makes ideal wall art.

Libra is ruled by Venus, and is described as the Cardinal, or dominant, air sign.

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

Esoteric Astrology: “Our Destiny is Written in the Stars” — Theosophy Watch (Reblog)

MOST modern scientists believe that astrology is merely superstition. Yet, true science and philosophy seeks “rather to solve than to deny,” says Theosophy. In other words to solve using the scientific method of “checking, testing and verifying in every department of nature.” (“Summing Up” in The Secret Doctrine, Volume 1, pages 272-278): By means of […]

Esoteric Astrology: “Our Destiny is Written in the Stars” — Theosophy Watch

*A deep subject but there are plenty of books on this topic.

Astrology of Today – Tuesday, September 29, 2020 — Astrology Cafe (Reblog)

Today’s Moon: The Moon is in Pisces. There is no void Moon period today. The Moon is waxing and in its Waxing Gibbous phase. The First Quarter Moon occurred on the 23rd, and the Full Moon will happen on October 1st. Retrogrades: Saturn stations and turns direct today (Saturn was retrograde from May 11th until…

Astrology of Today – Tuesday, September 29, 2020 — Astrology Cafe

*Astrology is a subject worth getting to know more.