The Astrology Podcast
Transcript of Episode 250, titled:
Alan White: Intro to Hellenistic Astrology
With Chris Brennan and guest Alan White
Episode originally released on April 20, 2020
Note: This is a transcript of a spoken word podcast. If possible, we encourage you to listen to the audio or video version, since they include inflections that may not translate well when written out. Our transcripts are created by human transcribers, and the text may contain errors and differences from the spoken audio. If you find any errors then please send them to us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Transcribed by Andrea Johnson
Transcription released January 18, 2022
Copyright © 2022 TheAstrologyPodcast.com
CHRIS BRENNAN: Hi, my name is Chris Brennan, and this is Episode 250 of The Astrology Podcast. I’m recording this on Sunday, April 19, 2020, starting at exactly 7:30 PM in Denver, Colorado. So this is a two-part episode. The first part of the episode is going to be a recording of a lecture that a friend of mine gave back in 2011, an astrologer named Alan White. And he actually presented this lecture—it was an introduction to Hellenistic astrology lecture that he’d been giving for over a decade at that point that had been somewhat influential.
And Alan passed away after a long illness with cancer in August of 2011, but several months before he died, I went out to visit him and stayed with him for a few days and talked about his life and sort of documented his life story and reflected on things. And I asked him to record a version of this lecture for me, which I’d seen him give a few times in the past, and which had been notable for reasons that I’ll explain later. So he ended up recording the lecture for me at that point, and I’ve been meaning to release it for a long time now.
So the first-half of this episode, the first hour-and-a-half is basically just a recording of his presentation of this flip chart lecture on an introduction to Hellenistic astrology, and then the second part of the episode, for about an hour after that is an audio recording of an interview that I did with Alan back around 2010, on my old podcast called Traditional Astrology Radio. And it was actually the first interview that I ever actually did with somebody on a podcast, so it’s kind of notable for that reason.
And I wanted to re-release it as part of The Astrology Podcast series in order to have it as an official part of this archive and sort of document some of Alan’s life and work and thought as part of The Astrology Podcast, since that other podcast, Traditional Astrology Radio, I stopped doing years ago, back in 2012 and isn’t really going to stick around for a long time. All right, so back to my outline.
Alan was 69-years-old when he passed away in 2011 after a long battle with cancer, and he was somebody who was an associate of Project Hindsight. He’d been into astrology for a number of years, and he was interested in it, but he always found it to be a little bit out there, a little bit too ‘wow-woo’ for his tastes, until he found Project Hindsight.
He stumbled across Project Hindsight in the mid-1990s, and he became very excited about Hellenistic astrology and the revival of traditional astrology in general, and eventually became a close associate of Project Hindsight and would sometimes give lectures on the subject at different places around the country.
So Alan’s unique because he had kind of a gruff, somewhat abrasive character and personality. If you look at his birth chart—which I’ll actually put up right now for those watching the video version—he actually had Aries rising, with Mars in Aries in the 1st whole sign house in a day chart, as well as the Sun and Mercury in Capricorn up in the 10th house.
So he was also a former military guy. He was ex-Special Forces in the US Army and fought in Vietnam, so he was a war veteran. And he could also be more conservative, or he tended to lean more conservative. So he would sometimes say things that might come off or rub a lot of people the wrong way, but at the same time, he was also somebody who could be very kind. He could be very insightful as an astrologer, and he also had a great sense of humor, so he had a number of redeeming qualities even if he was a little bit rough around the edges.
So this talk though is important for historical reasons because in my book on Hellenistic astrology, at one point in the history section—when I’m recounting the history of Hellenistic astrology—when I get to the recent revival of Hellenistic astrology over the course of the past 30 years—where it’s just recently been recovered by contemporary astrologers—I tell a story about how he gave an impromptu lecture at a conference in Seattle at one point in 2011 to a group of Kepler College students.
And this is what led to Hellenistic astrology being taught at Kepler again, which subsequently allowed people like Demetra George to find it, that allowed myself to find it, and to whatever extent the subsequent revival of Hellenistic astrology happened or was expanded as a result of that, it’s due to Alan presenting this lecture that you’re about to see at that conference. So that’s the reason why I asked Alan before he died to record a version of this lecture for me, which he wasn’t well enough to do at the time while I was still there, but he ended up recording it at some point a few weeks after I left, with the help of his wife, Jaan White.
So he was already pretty sick by the time he recorded this lecture, and it wasn’t his best version of it because when he was still healthy, he gave it with a lot more gusto and a lot more humor and warmth. And you can still see a lot of elements of that in the version that I’m about to present, but he was definitely sick by that point and it’s not quite the best version of it. So for a number of years, I was trying to find a recording that would present a better version of it when he was more healthy, but I’d been unable to do so.
And over the past month, one of the last podcast episodes I released was the forecast for April of 2020, and by that time I’d already gotten really sick and you can hear it in my voice. And over the course of the past month, I’d been actually super sick for a month now with what we think is COVID-19. I tried to get tested when I went into the emergency room at one point with pains in my right lung, but they wouldn’t test me unless I was in critical condition. So I can’t confirm that that’s what I’ve been dealing with, but I strongly think that that’s the case because I haven’t been sick for this long before.
Anyway, so getting sick like that over the past month has made me start thinking about my own mortality a lot, and it reminded me of this lecture of my friend, Alan White, that I’ve been meaning to release for a while. So I wanted to go ahead and do that with Episode 250 to make it an official part of The Astrology Podcast archive.
So a few provisos, a few things I wanted to say ahead of time. I don’t necessarily agree with everything said in the video—and there’s some aspects of Alan’s attitude towards modern astrologers that I find kind of distasteful at this point—although on some level, I view this lecture as a historical pieces that’s an accurate representation of a certain segment of the astrological community in the 2000s.
And it’s important to understand what the traditional revival meant to some extent to some of those people and what drew them to it. There was a segment of astrologers who felt somewhat disillusioned by modern astrology for various reasons, and they were attracted to this presentation of traditional or ancient astrology that appealed to them for various reasons, some of which he’ll explain in the lecture. I think it is worth noting that some of his actual views—when pressed on them—were a bit softer than some of his rhetoric implies. Whether he’s talking about modern astrologers or other topics, in some instances, he would hold somewhat contradictory opinions like we all do from time to time.
Alan was a fervent supporter and close associate of Project Hindsight and Robert Schmidt, and most of his introduction to Hellenistic astrology lecture represents a sort of summary of one of Schmidt’s early attempts to reconstruct Hellenistic astrology. This includes much that was genuinely part of the tradition when he’s talking about things like sect or the rulers of the signs of the zodiac and things like that, but there was also a lot of stuff in the lecture that represents Schmidt’s own innovations that he came up with in the process of trying to reconstruct this sort of hypothetical, perfect system that he believed once existed, either rightly or wrongly.
Schmidt developed several different formulations of Hellenistic astrology during the 25-year-or-so period that he worked on the subject. So the formulation that Alan expresses here did not necessarily represent Schmidt’s later thinking, although it was probably a good summary of Schmidt’s early technical—or one of Schmidt’s early technical formulations.
Alan was really attached to Schmidt’s early formulations and could be dogmatic about them, although in later years, he also attempted to keep Schmidt grounded when it came to some of his later attempts to reconstruct Hellenistic astrology that became more elaborate, and in some instances, a bit more far-flung or sort of disconnected from the tradition.
He would say to Schmidt, that sounds great philosophically, but “does it make astrological sense?” And you’ll hear him at one point in the lecture use that exact phrase, “does it make astrological sense?” because Alan was first and foremost an astrologer—a practicing astrologer—and he was primarily interested in focusing on what worked and what made sense to him within the context of what he knew and understood about astrology and just how it works out in practice.
Ultimately, Alan played an important and somewhat unsung role in being ‘the translator of the translator’ in helping to translate some of Schmidt’s more complex thoughts and reconstructions into more simple language that could be understood more readily by students and people who were new to the study of Hellenistic and traditional astrology in general. And while that role was not always appreciated by Schmidt in his lifetime, by the various people who ended up playing that role—including myself or Demetra George—it was nonetheless important and historically relevant. And that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to put this lecture out there and make it a part of the official sort of historical record, especially since I can’t find an earlier version of it, and this one contains most of the core elements.
All right, so before we get started, before we transition to the lecture, I just want to read the official obituary that I wrote and published. I think this is one of the only real obituaries that circulated for Alan in the astrological community after he died. And it went out in the NCGR newsletter and a few other places, but I can’t find it online. So I wanted to read it here because it actually does a better job of summarizing most of his life and significance than sort of what I’ve haphazardly just attempted to do right now.
All right, so Alan White was born—I give his birth data first of course because he’s an astrologer. So his birth data was January 1, 1942, at 11:37 AM in Washington DC, and he passed away on August 18, 2011, at 1:36 PM in Edenton, North Carolina.
So here’s the obituary. It says: Astrologer Alan White passed away on Thursday, August 18 in Edenton, North Carolina after a long illness. He was 69 years old. He is survived by his wife, Jaan Stephens-White, and his three children, Jeanette, Christopher and Virginia.
A native of Washington, DC, Alan joined the Army in 1961 shortly after graduating from high school, and served in Vietnam from 1963-64 as a Green Beret with the 5th Special Forces Group. After completing his service in the military, [Alan] spent time focusing on his education, and held a series of jobs prior to retiring which included work as a mechanic, a traveling salesman and an astrologer.
Alan’s interest in astrology began in 1963 when he bought a Zodiac watch in Saigon which depicted the phases of the Moon. Initially skeptical about the subject, [Alan] began studying it seriously in the 1970s, eventually attending his first astrological conference [sometime] in the 1980s. Disappointed that many of the approaches to astrology that he had been exposed to at that point came off as too “airy-fairy,” he longed for a more concrete take on the subject. He found what he was looking for in 1995 when he discovered traditional astrology through Project Hindsight by attending the second PHASE Conclave in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. Alan subsequently became an ardent supporter and eventually a close associate of the Project.
He began giving introductory lectures on Hellenistic astrology in the late 1990s, and was an active member of the Northern Virginia Chapter of the NCGR in the early 2000s. In summarizing his philosophy of astrology, he was particularly fond of a statement by the Medieval astrologer Guido Bonatti that the purpose of astrology is to reconstruct the past, understand the present, and predict the future.
In May of 2001 [Alan] was sent to Seattle to run a tradeshow booth for Project Hindsight at the annual Northwest Astrological Conference. The first class of students from the newly-opened Kepler College of Astrological Arts and Sciences had just completed its first year, and the entire class was in attendance at the conference. One night at the conference Alan was sitting in the lounge talking with a group of Kepler students and regaling them with stories about Hellenistic astrology, and they became intrigued enough to encourage him to put on an impromptu lecture on the subject in an empty conference room that same night. [That] lecture was particularly successful, to the extent that the Kepler students encouraged one of their teachers who had also attended the lecture, Demetra George, to develop a course on Hellenistic astrology for the Kepler curriculum.
Demetra subsequently traveled to the east coast and spent several months studying under Alan and Robert Schmidt of Project Hindsight during the winter of 2001/2002. She began teaching the course on Hellenistic astrology at Kepler in 2002, and many students were first introduced to the subject within that context [including myself]. To whatever extent the subsequent revival of Hellenistic astrology today and in the future is the result of Demetra’s teachings or those whom she taught, it is thanks to Alan that this transmission was able to take place. In many ways this is his most lasting legacy and contribution to the astrological community.
All right, so that’s my obituary for Alan that I published back in 2011 when he died. That’s why this lecture is significant and that’s the historical context of the time frame in which it was put together and the way in which it influenced the tradition.
So for students of Hellenistic astrology, one thing you might want to pay attention to is how this formulation of Hellenistic astrology and the way that he presents it in some instances matches and in other instances don’t match with the later formulations of Hellenistic astrology that have been put together in subsequent years by people like myself or Demetra George. That will give you some idea of the evolution of what we encountered when we came into the field and some of our teachers—and the ways in which we’ve studied and expanded upon the understanding of Hellenistic astrology and refined it or changed it in different ways—but showing also some of the indebtedness that we had to our earlier teachers and our predecessors, such as Alan White and Robert Schmidt.
All right, I think that’s it for this introduction. So let’s go ahead and jump into the lecture by Alan White and his famous flip chart Introduction to Hellenistic Astrology.
ALAN WHITE: Good morning, men. I am Sgt. White. For the next 15 minutes or so, I’ll be your principal instructor. Our subject is the A-6. That’s the M1919 A-6, air-cooled, .30 caliber, fully-automatic, recoil-operated, crew-served, belt-fed weapon.
Oh, this is the wrong crew for that, I’m sorry. It’s still airborne—the type of man your mother warned you about. I’m sorry, we’re here today to talk about astrology. So why don’t we flip this thing over, if I can get a ‘hoo-rah’ out of everybody.
Many moons ago, I got involved in astrology in order to disprove it. I’m still working on that. Somehow now we went from a guy named Hermes Trismegistus around 400 BC to ‘Muffy Starchild’ giving lectures on Sun signs for your pets. Uh, and Muffy rails on and on in her lecture about how to get academic acceptance of astrologers without really thinking the ‘think through’. I keep hearing this stuff over and over again. If the academic community ever accepts astrology, they’re going to accept only the parts that they want, and most of the astrologers today will be out of business. So I would think that we should tread very softly on that deal.
Modern astrology is still up in all kinds of stuff and most of it’s hyphenated—this is what’s hyphened. We have psychological-astrology, and we have past life-astrology. We probably have future life-astrology and all this other hyphened astrology. Political correctness has seeped through the entire thing. So instead of having a bunch of hardcore guys that try to read God’s clock, what we end up with is a bunch of hand-holding wackos that sit around and agree with whatever the client has to say, that fancy themselves as counselors.
Well, my opinion is that if the client is that screwed up, he really needs a shrink, he doesn’t need an astrologer. You know, our job is to tell what’s going on, what time it is, whether it’s good, whether it’s bad, whether you should start something, whether you shouldn’t start something, whether you’re in a good period, whether you’re in a bad period.
There’s a guy named Guido Bonatti—Guido in the mob, big gun, Medieval astrologer—who gave a definition of what astrology is. Astrology is designed to predict the future and reconstruct the past. That’s what it does. It doesn’t do anything else. It is not supposed to do anything else. And to try to stretch it so it does other things becomes not astrology, it becomes something else. It becomes psychology or channeling or whatever the hell it is.
I remember going to a conference where somebody was going to channel the lecture, except the spirit never showed up, and he just stood there like a bump on a log. Damndest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Anyway, let’s get on with this thing and see what we’ve got there. This is basically an introduction to classic, ancient, Hermetic, old Greek, Hellenistic—sometimes Mickey Mouse—astrology, brought to you by Project Hindsight. And we’ll get to the ‘Mickey Mouse’ stuff later—and that’s basically Minnie, Mickey, and Pluto and the other crap.
Project Hindsight are guys that are translating all of this ancient Greek stuff to try to make some semblance of sense out of it. And we throw it out on the table, and we beat it to death like it was a nasty snake, until we can come up with stuff that everybody agrees there that it, one, makes sense with the text, two, is astrologically agreeable. So it has to make philosophical sense and it has to make astrological sense, and if it doesn’t fulfill those two requirements, we haven’t figured it out yet. We always ask, ‘but why’ to everything.
It’s all set at PHASER Foundation, which is a nonprofit group. We’re not really a bunch of antiquarians. What we are is really a translation project. It doesn’t mean we’re not really astrologers just because we’re not using modern references. This is the restoration of the astrology of the West. So if you’re all Westerners, this is your stuff. This is not Vedic stuff, Indian stuff. This is not Buddha contemplation. It is not peace and light and love and blessings where astrology’s filled up with little kittens and rainbows and quarts of unicorn semen—doesn’t work this way.
Now after my little introduction—with all the whistles and bells of where you’ve been and where you’re going and who your mother-in-law is and what you had for breakfast—if there any other Green Berets out there that are interested in astrology, I’d appreciate you sending me a note because because we can talk. We have the same language. I’m still fairly hardcore in my attitude towards anything and everybody, and astrology’s just one of those things. I believe in cutting to the chase and doing the right stuff. So let’s figure out where this thing is from.
Well, first off, it did not come from Never Never Land, it didn’t come from the Land of Nod, and it sure as hell didn’t come from Oz. Way back in the Stone Age, we had these mythical guys, the Chaldeans and the Sumerians, who were referred to by the Greeks as ‘the ancients’. Okay, we refer to the Greeks as ‘the ancients’. Actually we would probably refer to somebody like Guido Bonatti and the Medieval crowd or Lilly and Christian Astrology with the Renaissance mob as ‘the ancients’. So we really get back to some long ago references where this stuff was created. From Chaldean astrology, it basically split into three parts: Some of it goes to Egypt, some of it goes to the Arabs, and some of it goes to Vedics. So let’s figure out how this runs.
It runs to the Egyptians, about 400 BC-200 BC. This is when this guy, Hermes Trigestimus shows up, a mythical guy, and apparently, he and his school put together what we now know as astrology. This is Hermes and Dorotheus who read everything in verse, and we have fragments of this. We have stuff from Ptolemy, and a lot of Ptolemy’s stuff are fragments that he got that he translated. We have nine books of Valens. The Arabs got four of those nine books, and they tried to put everything together.
From the Arabs, it goes to the Medievals. But while this is going on, there’s a colony of Greeks that go to India, and all of a sudden Vedic astrology. The Indian astrology was all written on these little banana leaves or whatever they were—some kind of tea leaves or leaves—and all of a sudden it has this Greek influence that comes into it. At that time both of the zodiacs were coinciding so that everything started at 0°. So we still don’t know whether to use tropical or sidereal. What we do know is that we’ve run charts using both of these things, and the tropical seems to work a little bit better.
Now from the Egyptians, it also goes to the Arabs. Well, they mess around with it and they change some of the language involved. Zoidion becomes now ‘signs’ and the ‘places’ now becomes ‘houses’. It’s really kind of strange. From the Arabs, it goes to the Medieval crowd (that’s Bonatti and Leopold of Austria), and from there it goes to the Renaissance mob (this is Lilly and his stuff), and then it gets into modern stuff where it has a revival with Alan Leo.
And from there, we end up with Muffy, and now, we have people with the psychology crap who want to take it over, and, “Oh, you have to have a degree in psychology in order to be an astrologer.” And I’m thinking, what else would you do with a BA in psychology for crying out loud? Anyway, this is where the stuff came from, and this is where we are now, and this is where we started back here.
Now this is what modern astrology does. Modern astrology involves itself with planets, houses, signs, aspects, transits, and returns. Hermetic or Hellenistic astrology involves itself with planets, houses, signs, aspects, transits, and returns. See any major difference here? No—except there are some serious major differences.
Now for those people who haven’t, we’re about to get into the meat of the thing. For those people who haven’t seen me in a while, if I’ve looked like I’ve lost some weight, I have, so live with it. I also have a tendency to smoke like a chimney, drink like a fish, and swear like a sailor. So if I offend anybody’s delicate sensitivity, bear with it.
Okay, we’re going to talk about planets. The Greeks never referred to planets as ‘planets’; they referred to them as ‘wandering stars’. And they never referred, they never called Mars ‘Mars’; it was ‘the star of Mars’, or ‘the star of Ares’, in this case (or ‘the star of Aphrodite’, or ‘the star of Hermes). In other words, the planets are symbolic representations of a deity.
It’s also interesting to note that if you want to kick this stuff into the Christian level, or today’s level, there are seven wandering stars which each day of the week is named for one of them (Moon Day being the day of the Moon, Sun Day, the day of the Sun, Saturn Day, the day of Saturn). There are also seven archangels and each one of them does something different, and seven virtues and seven deadly sins. Seven pops up a lot today even.
Okay, planets do something called a phasis. Phasis means ‘an appearance that speaks’. Now phasis conditions are when a planet stations direct or retrograde, or when it makes its first or last appearance before it goes under the beams of the Sun (or it comes out from the beams of the Sun) because it’s invisible and absorbed by the Sun. Now this means that at that time, the planet becomes intensified, and therefore, we have the significations of the planet come to the fore. So let’s go through some of these significations to figure out what they mean, what the Greeks called them, and how we basically explain this stuff.
The Sun is Helios. It deals with light, as in illumination, because it is the means by which things are allowed to appear. In other words, if it’s dark, you can’t see it, and when you see it, you understand it. Don’t you see? Sure, you see it. It takes its domicile in certain places. Each of the zoidion offer a domicile for a planet. That’s where it lives. It is responsible for that. The Sun takes its domicile in Leo. It also takes its domicile in Cancer; it’s the feminine domicile of the Sun. It takes its exaltation—where it’s a big deal, can get away with murder—in Aries. And it is in its depression or cast down when it’s in Libra, so it doesn’t operate really well.
We have Stilbon, our friend Hermes, or Mercury. He is known as ‘the gleaming, glittering, or glistening one’. He makes statements and declarations. Remember, phasis is the appearance that speaks. This is how Mercury speaks: he makes statements and declarations. He deals, of course, in Gemini, Virgo. Apparently, his exaltation is in Virgo. I’m still debating as to whether these are reversed with a day or a night chart. And he is depressed and feels lousy when he’s in Pisces. That’s when he goes off the chart and gets a little weird.
Phosphorus, that’s Venus, or Aphrodite. She is ‘the sparkling one’. She entices, “Oh, honey, me love you long time.” She takes her domicile in Taurus and in Libra. She is exalted in Pisces, and she is in her depression in Virgo.
Puroeides, Mars, or Ares, ‘the fiery one’. He commands, which is what you would expect Mars to do, “Everybody fall in.” They used a sergeant-major as this other guy. He takes his domicile in Aries and in Scorpio. He is exalted in Capricorn, and he is cast down in Cancer.
We have Phaethon. That’s Jupiter, or Zeus, ‘the shining one’. He speaks in metaphors and comparisons. He’s the big analogy guy. He takes his domicile in Pisces and in Sagittarius. His exaltation is in Cancer, and he is depressed in Capricorn.
We have Phainon. That’s Saturn. He is ‘the radiant one’. He speaks in logic and deduction. His domicile is Capricorn and Aquarius. His exaltation is Libra, and he is in his depression in Aries.
Then we have Selene, the Moon, or Luna. She is ‘the bright flame’. She is true phasis; she just makes noise. She is like the static in the background, or music, depending on where you are. She takes her domicile in Cancer, her exaltation place is Taurus, and she is depressed in Scorpio.
Now she’s a little interesting because the Zoroastrians say that she moves too fast to have a sign of her own. However, she has an affinity to Cancer, therefore, she is allowed co-rulership of Cancer with the Sun. Now this is entirely something new and something different than modern astrology would teach. But if you think about it for a minute, it makes perfect sense. And I’ll get a little bit more into this when we get into our friend, Pluto; you know, when we get into the ‘Mickey and Minnie’ show.
Now no planet can take its exaltation in Scorpio because that is the depression of the Moon. This is straight Hellenistic doctrine—bang. There are also detriments. Now the detriment is what we would call a planet probably being in its fall, I think is what modern astrology would classify it. This is the point which we would call an ‘anti-domicile’. In other words, it reacts and it has all the good stuff with it that it could bring to the table, it just has no discipline; so it’s going crazy all the time and trying to do whatever it wants to do. So you have to give it something to do if you have a planet in opposition to its domicile.
Okay, we have some basic natures of these planets. Remember the magic word ‘sect’ that got me involved in this thing in the first place. We have the ‘diurnal’ sect which is basically run by the Sun, and we have the ‘nocturnal’ sect, basically run by the Moon. The Sun deals with ‘selection and preference’. The Moon is ‘inclusive and gathering’. So basically, this is ‘selective and this collective’.
We have Jupiter giving ‘confirmation and stabilization’ to things. Venus gives ‘unification and reconciliation’. We have Saturn giving ‘rejection and exclusion’. And we have Mars giving ‘separation and severance’, and this is how this stuff works. In other words, you have, how do they work together, how do they work when they’re opposite, how do they work with things? You have the ‘morning’ and you have the ‘evening’ planets. And this is basically how the planets have a basic nature which is theirs, and most people don’t even use this stuff anymore.
Okay, houses. My God, let’s talk about houses. The Arabs gave us houses. Before that they were places: we had the 1st place, the 2nd place. Houses give us topics. And let me see if I can figure this one out or talk to you about this one in just a second. We call the zoidion signs, but they really aren’t. The zoidion is—how can I say this? A zoidion is an animal; it is a living thing. It is the thing closest to the realm of the forms. It has natures and qualities. It will impress itself wherever it falls: 1st house, 2nd house, 3rd house. But these are actually places because it is the places that give signs for the determination of a specific topic.
In other words, a sign points a direction to—not unlike going to a strip center where you have a bunch of stores that are all lined up—storefronts—and on top of each storefront is a little sign. And the sign says, ‘VIDEOS’, It says, ‘PIZZA’, and it says ‘FLORIST’. It says, ‘REALTY’. Now these give you directions for the determination of a particular topic. In other words, you don’t go into the pizza joint and ask for a dozen roses. You don’t go into the florist and ask for an extra pepperoni with double cheese on it.
When you look at a chart, you have ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ signs alternating all the way around the chart, but we also have some other stuff going on here. In other words, the top-half of the chart becomes masculine, the bottom-half of the chart is feminine. We also have quadrants where this is a ‘masculine’ quadrant, this is a ‘feminine’ quadrant, and this is a ‘feminine’ quadrant, this is a ‘masculine’ quadrant.
Now this is important when you get into starting to recognize the gender of the sign, where you have a ‘masculine’ sign in a ‘masculine’ quadrant in the ‘masculine’ half of the chart; it becomes totally masculinized. To some people, we’re not even going to look at this stuff anymore, but if you’re looking at a planet in its rejoicing condition—which we went through a couple of pages back—this gets to be more important the more masculinized a diurnal planet is and the more feminized a nocturnal planet is.
Now they’re further divided this way. We have zoidion diurnals (or signs) that are ‘solstical’ and ‘equinoctal’. In other words, we have solstices here. These are the ‘cardinal’ crowd. We have Capricorn and Cancer that are solstical and Aries and Libra are equinoctal, and what they do is they cut off or break off their activities abruptly. In other words, they’ll take off like a shot and then drop to nothing.
Then they’re taken over by the ‘solid’ crowd—that’s Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius, and Taurus—and they allow you to finish and plod along, but you finish slowly. Some of them become complete or incomplete. Let’s look at Taurus. Taurus starts in the middle of Aries and ends in the middle of Gemini. It’s a long, long zoidion (long sign). So sometimes, even though it plods along, it may not complete its activities.
Then you run into the ‘bi-corporeal’ crowd, which is literally double-bodied. And we have the Twins (Gemini)—yeah, there are two of them—and we have Virgo, we have Sagittarius, and we have Pisces, which are the two fishes swimming in opposite directions. And what they do is they start and stop with fits and jumps, and they’re all over Robin Hood’s barn. And they have a tendency to be digressive, and then, blammo, they finish.
So what you have is if you’re on the upswing from a bi-corporeal sign, you run right on the same thing you’re doing through the cardinal sign, drop back down to the solid sign, and then wander down the garden path until you hit the next bi-corporeal sign. This is like little Zuzu going to a party and hasn’t got a clue where she’s going, doesn’t have a map, drives around, and all of a sudden, she shows up where she’s supposed to be. How did you do this? Well, we don’t know, but she went all around Robin Hood’s barn and ended up going to the party.
Now these are further divided into the different patterns that show other than the co-presences or co-joinings which we would today call—what the hell are they when you’ve got two signs together? It’s a…
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Conjunction.
AW: …conjunction. We have hexagons, we have squares, and we have triangles. And hexagons either show ‘active and passive’. They’re all masculine, which is all action and productive of change. And this is why I think that the sextiles or hexagons are the most difficult thing to give any kind of prognostication on because you don’t know what the hell they’re going to do. They are productive of change. And so, as we see, you can lock them all up between either they’re all going to be feminine or they’re all going to be masculine. The feminine is ‘rest’—acting in rest—and the feminine signs are somewhat resistant to change when you have a hexagon, when you have a sextile.
The squares are ‘modes of completion’. That’s when you finish something. Remember a square is action and activity, and the other end of that is how are you going to finish it up? You have the equinoctal, which are abrupt beginnings and endings. Remember, you take off like a shot and then drop like a rock. The tropical squares—Cancer or Capricorn—are ‘reversal or breaking off’ whatever activities you’re doing. The solid signs are ‘steady and they complete’, and the bi-corporeal crowd is ‘digressive and they complete’, but generally, they’ll complete with a change of course. In other words, you’re going up and down all over Robin Hood’s barn and then you finish what you’re doing.
Triangles will show you the ‘modes of occurrence’. Your fire crowd gives you ‘imperatives’; they are ‘compelling’—you must do this. The earth is ‘definitive’; it is ‘determined’—this is what it is. Air is ‘optative’; it is ‘uncertain’; it’s wishful stuff. This is the air ‘woo woo’. It’s smoke and mirrors. Water is kind of ‘subjective’ or ‘adaptive’; they are ‘pliable’—this may happen. So you’ve got ‘must’, ‘is’, ‘wishes’, and ‘mays’—and these are the modalities of the different signs.
And you’ve got ‘signs that see’—you can also have signs that hear—but you’ve got signs that see. This is basically your warm and fuzzy stuff. I don’t use this, but I threw this in here because it lets me draw little eye pictures. And you’ve got ‘signs that perceive’. So the signs that see—or the guys with the eyes—Aries sees Libra, and Libra perceives that it is seen. Taurus sees Virgo, and Virgo perceives that it is seen, and they give you sympathy and friendship and goodwill and all this whoopee-doo stuff; harmony in every association.
These are ‘commanding’ signs and the ‘obeying’ signs. In other words, you’ve got the sergeant-major up here yelling and screaming—he commands—and these guys obey. And they are good for the flight of fugitives or going abroad or accusations. So if you’re going to break out of jail, what you want to do is wait until you can come up with a good inception that uses these guys to get into another country or something.
Okay, let’s go to aspects. The word ‘aspect’ means ‘to see’, and planets see only forward, they do not see backwards. When they see forward, they witness and testify. They can testify, but then you are witnessing. In other words, Capricorn will see Pisces, it will see Aries, it will see Taurus because it’s looking in that direction. Capricorn will hurl rays when it’s going back the other way. These are considered to be a negative influence.
Now they use the word ‘aspect’, they also use the words ‘see, gaze, behold, scrutinize, observe, and look’. In other words, when Capricorn looks at Aries, yadda, yadda, yadda. The aspects that it forms are triangles, hexagons, squares, and diameters. And these trines are basically 9th and 5th, sextiles are the 11th and 3rd houses, and this is how this stuff lines up basically with the aspects.
‘Co-mixtures’ are not aspects. We’ve got two chapters in Valens: two planets in the same zoidion—they are said to co-mixture, and it gives you a different take on it. It’s not necessarily a real aspect. What it is, is similar to a conjunction, but it is a co-presence or co-mixture.
These are not aspects—aversions are not aspects. Now an ‘aversion’ is when you have something that is either 30° off in one way or the other. In other words, Pisces is in aversion to Aries. Taurus is in aversion to Aries. Aries cannot see either one of them, therefore, they are adverse to each other. And you’ve got the ‘semi-sextile’ crowd, which is basically 2nd and the 12th house and 1st.
Then you’ve got ‘inconjunction/quincunxes’, which would be the 6th house from the 1st, and the 8th house from the 1st. They are said to ‘fall amiss’. Now the ‘adjacent’ aversion—that’s 30° off—are basically hostile to each other, okay? The ones that are the ‘opposite’ aversion is basically a Saturnian thing. One is mercurial, and Mercury deals in hostility and debating and this kind of stuff. The opposite aversion is basically Saturnian, and we come up with that from the Thema Mundi which we will get to sooner or later.
Now a ‘reverse’ aspect is called ‘the hurling of rays’. Planets are taxed. In other words, they are said ‘to tithe’. They are reduced in strength by 10%, and it’s considered to be a negative condition. So you don’t have a reverse aspect. Aspects only move forward: that’s superior and inferior. A ‘superior’ planet is telling the ‘inferior’ planet what to do.
Okay, we have some mitigations going on here, and we have sympathies predicated on two things. First off is planets that share the same rulership, which you see the Aries/Scorpio crowd and the Taurus/Libra crowd and so forth. We also have zoidion at the same essential time. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, they’re still going to rise at the same point.
This is Aries, Pisces, Taurus to Aquarius, Gemini to Capricorn and so forth running around the chart here. And you read these things as ‘reluctant’ conjunctions. It’s almost like a co-joining that doesn’t want to really do it, but it has to talk with it anyway. You also have ‘mutual reception’ by ruler that mitigate and sympathize with the different planets.
Okay, now we go into a legal framework. And again, they constantly talk about things like witnessing and testifying, and Planet A sees Planet B and testifies to the ruler because it witnessed whatever’s going on. If it doesn’t see the ruler, it can witness the event, but it can’t testify, so it doesn’t do much good. All right, what we have are—you know, I’ve always still been uncomfortable with the rulership. We have a zoidion that offers a planet a domicile, and we say, well, that planet is the ‘ruler’ of that—actually it isn’t. It’s the zoidion that offers the planet the domicile.
Now the planet lives there, it feels comfortable there, and is therefore responsible to manage his domicile, which means that if somebody shows up, it’s a guest/host kind of thing. The host or the planet whose domicile it is receives his guest, and he takes responsibility for that planet. So you can have Mars—it’s sitting in, say, Leo—and you get a planet that transits and enters into, or natally, is deposited in Aries. Well, Mars is still responsible for that planet.
The classic example I use would be Venus shows up in Mars’ domicile. And Venus of course likes art and she likes music, and this is the kind of stuff that she wants to get involved in, so Mars has to provide for Venus’ needs. Well, Mars can give her crayons and paint to draw on. He’s got crayons that are in any shade of red. He has CDs of music that she can listen to. He has the complete collection of John Philip Sousa’s marches, and he has a bugle and a war drum that she can play, and he’s still offering her the things that she needs. So this is basically how Mars would take care of Venus.
A planet in its ‘exaltation’ is honored or held highly. I like to look at this like a spoiled little kid that’s visiting his grandmother and can get away with bloody murder. You know, whatever little Willy wants to do is wonderful because he’s held highly and in high regard, and all of his faults and shortcomings are just totally overlooked.
And the legal condition for the domicile is whether the petition is heard. In other words, you can have an event, but if you don’t see the ruler, the ruler can’t do anything about it—because he’s the guy that makes the final determination. And the exaltation, the legality terms are the ‘triviality or merit’ of the event; in other words, should it be acted on at all.
The ‘bound lord’—more of a term in Medieval astrology—restricts the position of the planet in its domicile. If you’re in the domicile of Mars, you might be shoveling coal in front of an open fire, or cranking up the fireplace, this kind of thing. If you’re in the bounds of Jupiter, in the household, you would be in the grand hall where all the books are, in the library and that kind of stuff.
If you’re in Venus’ domicile, you’re probably in the drawing room or the rose garden where all of the knickknacks and neat stuff are. If you were in Saturn’s domicile, you’re down in the basement where it’s cold. The bound lord will set the standard of judgment. In other words, I think a planet that’s in a particular planet’s bounds acts like that planet.
In other words, Venus in Saturn’s bounds acts like the planet—acts like Saturn. The ‘trigon lords’—which are predicated on like a triangle, like a trine—if you have the success and material conditions of the event and what’s going to happen that gives you the judgment where it has to conform to a certain standard. And the other kind of thing you have would be a planet in a place of a ‘sect-mate’.
Okay, ‘solar phase’ is 15° coming out from under the beams of the Sun or going into the beams of the Sun. It intensifies the planet, and you’ve got seven days before and after where that planet gradually intensifies until it’s exact on that 15° point. And it’s as tight as it’s going to be. It’s intensified, and then it starts to relax for the next seven days until it gets back to normal again. It also operates predicated on a station—or a direct or a retrograde—and it’s a phasis condition. You also have that seven-day, slop time involved there.
‘Combustion’ is when a planet is less than 15° from the Sun, and the strength of the planet is therefore absorbed into the Sun, which means that its effects either come to nothing or don’t appear. Well, yes and no. In other words, the planet is taken up by the Sun, so the Sun has to release these effects, and it basically releases those effects only when the Sun is in its own domicile. So when the Sun comes up as what we call a ‘time-lord’, then you can expect the events which will normally be solar to actually be colored—predicated on the planets that are combusted or held by the Sun. This would be in a natal chart.
Retrograde. The word for ‘retrograde’ in Greek is ‘to recall’. This means as in ‘to take back’—like your car is recalled. It doesn’t mean you sit around and think about it. Now retrogrades are very strange. Benefics give and take away, and malefics just take away what you already have. However, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about retrogrades, and I think that retrogrades are inherently dangerous, and I’m predicating this on a couple of things.
The Greeks constantly referred to a retrograde planet as ‘a planet walking backwards’. Now we have specific significations of Mars, and Mars takes away or takes back things, and it also is the planet that walks backwards; it is a specific signification of Mars. Therefore, it seems to me a retrograde—a planet stationing retrograde—picks up a Mars influence, so I think that all retrogrades are dangerous as hell.
Now you can take away something that you don’t want to have taken away—somebody runs into your car, and your car gets taken away for a week or two weeks, whatever that is, at the body shop to have it fixed—or it can take away things that you actually forget about; because if we didn’t have retrogrades, we wouldn’t have any growth.
I mean, how many people still are friends with the people that they knew in the first and second grade, for crying out loud? As you get older, you lose things. You lose your teeth, and they’re replaced by your permanent teeth. You lose your innocence. There’s a lot of things that you lose going through the course of one’s life that are necessary for one’s growth. Other than that, you’d be stagnant forever, and you’d always be in the same place.
So it seems to me that retrogrades—you have to watch retrogrades. We say you don’t buy anything that’s electrical when Mercury’s retrograde and this kind of stuff, everything gets screwed up. Well, yeah, it may not be hitting your chart, but it might be hitting the chart of the company who made the computer program that you’re messing with. It might be hitting the chart of one of your friends, or your parents, or your children or something else which will affect your life. So generally when there’s a retrograde-something, it could be a miss with either you or with somebody that you know or something that you have, so watch out for retrogrades.
All right, here’s the ‘loonie-toonie’ section—there are some special lunar concepts that we have. We have the ‘prenatal’ lunation, which Schmidt says if it’s New Moon, you get your due, and if it’s a Full Moon, you pay. We generally assume this to be a contract with life and other people. Remember that the Moon deals with one’s life and the body. The Sun is the instrument of impressions that the soul receives. So basically, the Sun deals with the soul and the Moon deals with the body.
Now Demetra George came up with a neat quote—I think this concept should bear some further study and looking at—and she postulated there’s a possibility that the prenatal lunation that occurred prior to your birth is when the soul enters the body. We know that the Greeks had a concept of the soul because that’s what the Sun deals with.
Now when the Moon is void, there are two considerations. First off, there’s no application to a planet or partile ray for a day and a night. Sometimes people say when it’s 30°, the Moon has to move 30°, so it’s very rare. The Moon moves 30° without hitting anything. It makes no aspect to a planet. It’s like slop time. It’s woolgathering and vagabonds and wanderers and it’s the void of course Moon.
Now a void Moon in the modern definition is a planet that made its last aspect before it changes signs. Generally, it’s in the last of the signs. And of course, they’re using new planets, Uranus and Neptune and Pluto—and I don’t think so. I think the reason that this is bizarre and you get bizarre effects from this is that the bound lord of each zoidion that rules the last few degrees of each sign—each zoidion—is a malefic. And therefore, the Moon is picking up malefic tendencies before it changes signs and it makes an ingress into the next sign.
Ingresses intensify the planet anyway. So therefore, you will have an intensified Moon dealing with the life and the body that’s running through bounds of the malefic, which means that you’re going to get some weird stuff that happens when the Moon has made its last aspect before it changes its sign. It has nothing to do with being void, it has to do with being weird, okay?
Now we have the ‘dragons’ which are the nodes, and they break down the power of the sign that they occupy, either natally or by transits, okay? Now Valens—we have this entire application of a technique which was I think really great if you’re doing psychic spells or this kind of stuff. We have the ‘days of the Moon’, and you’re looking for application/separation on the 1st day of the Moon, the 3rd day, the 7th day, and the 40th day.
The 1st day of the Moon of course is the natal chart. I mean, you use the Moon. You slam the Moon in the Ascendant and you read the chart, and this is basically your life. The 3rd day of the Moon, the Moon has moved one sign. So now you’re reading it based on the conditions that you will meet in your life. In other words, will you be rich, will you be famous, will you earn property, are you a disaster, or whatever the hell it is.
The 7th day of the Moon, the Moon will have moved to the 4th place from where it started, and that shows your conditions of family, hearth/home, children, whether you’re going to be a farmer, or whether you’re going to be a merchant—basically how your life is going to gel based on the foundations of your life.
The 40th day of the Moon, it’s gone all the way around the chart and comes back exactly opposite where it started. This shows conditions of death, conditions of old age. It basically deals with reincarnation and rebirth.
Now when you read the chart, you’re looking at planets that are 3°, 7°, 15°, or 30° from the Moon. When they’re 3°, this is basically childhood up to adolescence, 7° is adolescence to the prime of your life, 15° is middle-aged to old age, and 30° would be old age or it may never happen at all. I mean, this is how you read the days of the Moon by application and separation of planets.
Okay, we have lots of ‘lots’. These represent the virtues of the planets and are basically analogues to what the planet is sending you. It’s trying to send you the best stuff it can depending on what place it occupies, good or bad. Now according to ‘Big’ Al-Biruni, he tried to categorize all the lots that were listed at the time, and he said, “This is the best I can do, but they proliferate daily.” And again, we have a ‘Lot of Bananas’ and a ‘Lot of Tangerines’, and my God, it just goes on and on and on. I think Curt Manwaring, in his zodiacal program—that’s Zoidiasoft—lists 99 of them. And basically, I’ve put down here the 7 classical lots, but they’re also analogues.
For instance, the ‘Lot of the Father’ is the Ascendant plus Saturn, less the Sun equals a point, and that’s the Lot of the Father. Now this represents people who are like the father. May not be the father, may be the father. These are teachers, a scout master, coach—somebody who acted like a parent to you. It also represents the 4th house and the father figure becomes the lot. So you look for the father in a chart, you’re looking at the Sun and Saturn. If you’re looking for the parent, you’re looking for the lord of the 4th. And if you’re looking for the father figure, you’re looking at the Lot of the Father, and this is how the lots break down.
Okay, we have the seven classic lots, one for each planet, okay? The ‘Lot of Fortune’ is probably the most important. It’s the Moon’s lot and it gives the body possessions, reputation, and privilege. And it also can be used as a health chart. In other words, if you put the Lot of Fortune as the Ascendant in the chart, to read the chart, that’s the health of the native.
We have the ‘Lot of Spirit’, which is the Sun’s lot—whether you’re going to be famous, illuminated, in the spotlight. That is the Ascendant plus the Sun plus the Moon. And this deals with the soul, the temper and the mindfulness and power of the native.
Venus’ lot is ‘Eros’. I think Chris Brennan is writing a big book on Eros. The Ascendant plus Venus less the Lot of Spirit. It deals with desire, appetites, friendship, and favor. Mercury’s lot—or Hermes—is ‘Necessity’. It’s the Ascendant plus Fortune less Mercury. It gives constraint, struggles, enmities, and hatreds.
Mars is ‘Courage. Ascendant plus Fortune plus Mars. Boldness, treachery, might, villainy. Jupiter is ‘Victory’. This is the Ascendant plus Jupiter less the Lot of Spirit. Trust, associations, and rewards. And Saturn of course is ‘Nemesis’. That’s the Ascendant plus Fortune less Saturn. Destruction, grief, impotence, and exile.
Now these things are going to fall out somewhere, okay? And that lot—the lord of the zoidion where the lot falls—is it angular? Is it not? And the next thing you’re looking at is, does it see the lord, and does it see the planet who’s lot it is? In other words, if Fortune falls out in Aries, does it see Mars, and does that point also see the Moon? Because that will give you a very active Lot of Fortune. Okay, so much for lots.
All right, with Hellenistic astrology, we have three approaches, and you can enter into a chart in each one of these, okay? You do the ‘7 Hermetic Techniques’, which give you the possibility of whether this is going to happen or not happen, and what’s going to happen in your life. “Gee, do you think I’ll ever be the President of the United States?” Well, the first thing you want to do is say, is it possible?
The next thing, you can use the ‘Topical Methods’, and that determines whether it’s probable. If it’s possible and probably, then you want to get into the ‘whens’ and get into your ‘Time Lord Procedures’ as to when it’s going to happen. But if it isn’t possible, there’s no point in doing probable. And if it’s possible and probable, then you do the ‘whens’. If it isn’t probably, there’s no point in doing the ‘whens’ either, okay?
So these are the different techniques that we have. There are different methods to use and there are different procedures involving time-lords. Modern astrology basically does not have a lot of these time-lords, and we’ll get into that in a minute. Here are the techniques—these are the universal Hermetics. We’ve got the ‘rising decan’, ‘lord of the nativity’, the ‘dispositors of the nativity’ (this is the bound trigon of the sect, the domicile lords, exaltation lords, yadda, yadda, yadda).
Then you’ve got planets that have lords in their houses and different places. And you’ve got the ‘7 Hermetic Lots’, the classic lots we just went through. You’ve got ‘12th harmonics’. This is like fated stuff that shows up at different times and here we go. And then you have the ‘Application and Separation of the Moon’ based on the lunar doctrine of the days of the Moon and based on the 3°-7°-15°-30° splits.
So you’ve got seven different techniques to run through in the analyzation of a chart. In other words, you don’t just sit down and fumble around with it. You actually have an outline of where you’re going with things—here are the methods that you use. We have the ‘general significator’, the predominating lord. We have the general significator and the ‘delegated dispositors’. We have ‘planet significators’ and domicile lords. We have planet signification and trigon lords. We have the ‘house signification’ and the domicile lord. We have the ‘lot significator’ and the domicile lord. And we have the ‘derived houses’ from the general significators of houses 3, 4, 5, and 7—this is how you run this damn thing.
Now each one of these will show up with the dispositor that you’re looking for and this is what they do. You’ve got the Sun dealing with ‘rank, father, and friends’, the Moon dealing with ‘appearances, mother, travel’. You have Mercury dealing with ‘children, profession, and contests’. Venus deals with ‘children, marriage, and sweeties’. Mars is ‘siblings, illness, and enemies’. Jupiter is ‘children, reputation, and friends’. And Saturn is ‘illness, enemies, and privation’.
Now a lot of ‘children’ are showing up in this thing. Remember, we have four different places that deal with children in the Hellenistic system. You have the 5th house of course dealing with children. You have the 4th, 10th, and 11th houses dealing with children. Now the 10th house would be the child is an heir, the heir apparent. The 11th house would be children that assist the native in what he does. The 4th house are children that help the native in his old age. So all of these are children, but there are different considerations of children. So you have to watch these things because each one of these things will give you a different consideration depending on what you’re looking at.
And we have time-lords. Now a lot of the stuff we went through is basic stuff, and I keep getting back to the basics. Basics, basics, basics. If you get the basics down, then you’re learning how to think astrologically. You’re learning how to think ‘Hellenistically’. Most everybody wants to run immediately to the time-lords to find out when illness stuff is going to happen and they ignore the basics. This is not mix-and-match stuff.
Now the time-lords get very complicated because all these time-lord systems are lacking in modern astrology. And of course what everybody wants is more arrows in their quiver. But the first thing you have to know is how to aim the damn thing before you’ve even started trying to collect arrows. So get the basics down first. There are plenty of people out there that can give you a course on this stuff.
All right, the first thing we have is ‘profections’—that is the most important. That’s from the Ascendant—the Ascendant, all planets and points in a chart you can profect for. This means that if you start with the 1st house—the Ascendant—that represents year one of the native (zero, happy birthday, you’re born) to the first birthday. You’re now a one-year-old. Well, actually you’re entering into your second year because you’ve already gone through a year from zero to the end of the first year.
The lord of that particular place—particular sign—is the guy who’s running the show for that year. That becomes the ‘lord of the year’, and then you go to the next and then the next one. And you do a solar return predicated on that: where does the lord show up, does he seem himself natally, and here we go down the garden path.
You can do profections from any point or any planet. You just pick that as the starting of the thing. That’s the first year, second year, blah, blah, blah. You can also cut these down to a monthly profection, a weekly profection, a daily profection. You can even get an hourly profection if you wanted to go down that far. So that’s probably the most important thing you’ve got.
We have ‘decennials’ that are predicated on sect. Those are 10 years and 9 months each. And we figured that these deal with life pursuit. We have the ‘quarters’ method, which is based on the prenatal lunation; and that’s the years that the planets ensure a kind of indebtedness that you have to a particular planet or a particular series of significators that are engineered by that planet.
We have ‘zodiacal releasing’ from Fortune and Spirit. So when we start releasing from Fortune—when you show up around here and you end up with a tenth from Fortune—this is when you may be illuminated at some time, or some big deal is going to happen in your life. So we can release from these two points which are done often. And they’re also in Curt’s program, so you don’t have to sit down and pull your hair out figuring this stuff out.
You release from one planet to another planet. You may be releasing from an angular planet to a cadent planet—and that sucks. You may be then releasing from that cadent planet back to an angular planet—this is great. So you have good times and you have bad times and you have times where nothing much happens.
We have ‘minor periods’ predicated on the exaltations of the planets. We have ‘solar returns’, which are either solars or solunars. We have ‘directions’, the ‘monomoria’ of the Moon based on bounds and planets and angles—and my God, we’ve got time-lord procedures coming out of our ears. But remember, this is the last thing you’re doing, because the first thing you’ve got to do is figure out whether things are possible and whether they’re probable. And if those two figure out, then you can get into this stuff. But again, at first, you deal with basics. So you’ve got to do basics before you do anything else.
Okay, we have ‘transits’. Now big old Abu Ma’shar—one of the big guns in Arab astrology—wrote down—remember, these guys got four of the nine books of Valens. So he writes down and he says, “We haven’t got the transit doctrine from the Greeks. But based on everything else we do, this is what we think it is.” The only problem is it was wrong. However, that made the cut into Medieval astrology, word-for-word, and that made the cut into Renaissance astrology, and that’s now exactly modern astrology’s transit doctrine—except it’s wrong.
Transits stretch or intensify the planet. Now this means that the transiting planet will inform the native planet—natal planet—as to what it’s supposed to do. We could say, well, we’ve got a planet just sitting there waiting for somebody to tell it what to do, and you’ve got a planet that sneaks up on it and advises, “This is what you’re going to do.” Keep in mind that the natal planets are no longer there. They act as sensitive points and they’re sensitive to any transit. So we have a transit that comes along—a planet comes along—transiting another planet. And this figures big time particularly in solar returns and in time-lord systems, but let’s look at these things.
For instance, we have Jupiter in a conjunction with Venus. Jupiter is transiting Venus. This is a great transit, okay? This means that everything generally comes up sweetness and light because Jupiter is informing Venus as to what to do. Then you’ve got Venus transiting Jupiter. Good, right? Modern astrology says this is wonderful. This is one of the worst transits you could have. This is when you feel like going out and spending a ton of money and expanding the hell out of it. So you go out shopping for clothes, and they’re still in your closet five years later and they still have the price tags on them. This sucks.
Here we have both the malefics. We have Saturn in a transit to Mars. Good? Bad? Oh, it’s bad. It’s terrible. Well, actually it is terrible. Saturn is the planet of ‘no’, and it’s telling Mars ‘no action’. And Mars is sitting there ready to pull the pin on its hand grenade, and then Saturn says, “Don’t go off.” Well, that energy’s going to go somewhere. And therefore, this is considered to be one of the worst transits you can have.
Mars transiting Saturn. Bad transit, right? According to modern astrology. Actually this is one of the best transits you could have. Because Saturn is sitting there—the planet of ‘no’—but it’s also the planet of hard work and responsibility, and Mars comes along and says, “Get the hell to work and do it responsibly.” So this actually turns out to be one of the best transits you can have; now this is how people making stuff up ended up screwing up this system.
Remember, this thing is predicated on a philosophy that’s put together by a man or a group of men over about a 150-year period, and we tracked this thing up to around 900. I guess the Arabs took over around, what, the 9th century, 900s AD. And so, you’ve got about a thousand-year, 1,200-year process in here where it goes from people start questioning things and they write things down, and so, not all of the authors agree.
And we’re trying to put them together as though this actually makes sense predicated on the philosophy involved and does it make sense astrologically—until it started getting mistranslated, screwed up, or made up by people who put their stuff on it. And then it goes to somebody else, and then it goes to somebody else, and then it ends up with Muffy Starchild and Sun signs for your pets.
Now here is the Thema Mundi, sometimes known as ‘the chart of the world’—whoa. Now the chart of the world has Cancer rising in the thing, okay? And of course it runs into the Sun—I’m sorry, the Moon, the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn. It runs in planetary order—there it is—based on the speeds of the planets, here we go. Now it runs the same way from the other side. It runs Saturn, Venus—I’m sorry—Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Mercury, back to the Moon again.
So we have Saturn opposite both the lights, okay? When we put the exaltation in what we have is Jupiter sitting in the Ascendant, we have Saturn being exalted in the 4th, Mars exalted in the 7th, the Sun up here in the 10th—remember, that’s where the light comes from. We have Venus and the Moon both in good places, and Mercury’s in the ‘least bad’ of the bad place and the ‘least good’ of the good places, okay?
So all of the rulers, domicile lords, and all of the exaltations kind of fit. The nodes—where they fall at kind of breaks down the power of the zoidion that they occupy—meaning the South and the North Nodes—6th and 12th.
All right, let’s look a little further at the Thema Mundi. Now we have the Thema Mundi—I split it. Normally, the top of the chart would be daytime, public, nighttime would be private, but for the benefit of the viewing audience, we have just split this thing this way. So we have the lights, okay? And people have asked me, “Well, why in the hell isn’t the Sun in the 1st house?” Well, actually the Sun is in the 1st house if you remember the Zoroastrian passage way back when, where the Sun is the domicile lord of Cancer. It’s in its feminine domicile at that point.
So we have the Sun—remember, aspects go forward—the Sun goes to Mercury. There is a sextile to Venus, there is a square to Mars, there is a trine to Jupiter, and there is an inconjunct to Saturn. Remember, we said that the inconjuncts, or the opposite aversions, have a tendency to ignore. This is when you’re supposed to do something and you don’t do it, even though you know you’re supposed to do it and you put it off—like your taxes and this kind of stuff—and it ends up coming and bites you on the ass. This is the problem here. You ignored something that’ll get you sooner or later.
This is basically the ‘selective’ side because the Sun selects. This is the ‘collective’ side—remember, aspects continue to go this way. So we have the Moon in aversion to the 8th house—opposite aversion—and we have a trine from Jupiter, and we have the square from Mars, and we have the sextile from Venus, and we have the adjacent aversion—remember, this is debate and contestation—from Mercury, back to the Moon. These are the two lights. Both of them oppose Saturn, but both of them are in the opposite aversion, so this is how this thing basically works.
Remember, the Moon collects, and here it’s collecting all of these aspects coming into the Moon. The Sun selects, and here it is seeing forward and making these aspects to these various planets. Venus reconciles that which is unlike, and here we have sextiles going into both of the lights. Our friend Mars separates that which is like, and so, he’s here with the square to both the lights.
Jupiter has the tendency to steady or stabilize, again, in trine back to the lights. Mercury contests or keeps things up in the air in suspense. Saturn deprives or ignores. He deals in agnoia, which is ‘ignorance and necessity’, and here he is ignoring the Sun and ignoring the Moon. And again, it’ll get you in trouble if you ignore stuff, particularly stuff you’re supposed to, which is why you were ignoring it in the first place.
Okay, now so here we are back with selecting and collecting and the contesting, and you can see reconciliation and all this kind of stuff around the chart. Planets aspect from the lights in the Thema Mundi. Now when I get stumped in a chart—which is sometimes very often—I generally go back to the Thema Mundi and look at this thing and say, okay, we’re dealing with a 2nd house issue, we’re dealing with a 3rd house issue. What are we doing? Are we reconciling? Are we contesting? What in the hell is going on in the Thema Mundi? Sometimes that’ll ignite a spark so that you can figure out what you’re doing.
We’re currently in the Age of Pisces. Remember, based on precession of the equinox, we have ‘ages’. This is the Age of the Fish, and basically your big religions will follow this. We have the Fish, this is opposite Virgo, the Bread. So we have the wine into water, or fish and the loaves; remember the loaves and the fishes and all this fishy stuff. Before that we were in I guess the Jewish age, which would be Aries and all the bloodthirsty stuff, and the Romans showed up big time then. But we have the Lamb, the Ram, the coming of the Lamb, and all this Aries stuff.
Before that we had the sacred cow of Egypt. This is why Moses goes up on a mountain—he was starting at the Age of Mars, or Aries—and the people he left down below built themselves a sacred cow. In other words, they were reverting back to this Taurean age. Before that we were involved in, what, the Mithrian Mysteries, and it went both ways at once, and it was hot/cold, up and down.
And so, basically we can trace religions around here. This is great. So we’re actually in the 9th place, which is a good place—the Age of Pisces—based on the Thema Mundi. And we’re about to hit the Age of Aquarius, which takes us into the 8th place—which sucks—ruled by Saturn, which sucks worse. So everybody wants to get to the Age of Aquarius, and it’s all peace and light and love and blessings because they’ve listened to the damn song probably too much. I have no desire to end up in the Age of Aquarius with Saturn running the show.
All right, let’s look at some ‘woo-woo’ stuff. There’s Uranus, Neptune, Pluto. So here’s Minnie, Mickey, and Pluto—whoopee. Now the first thing modern astrologers do is run to the outer planets and who’s transiting what and all this kind of stuff, and they still haven’t got a clue as to what the hell they’re doing with this damn stuff. These planets haven’t been around long enough to really figure out exactly what they do, other than you make something up and there it is. They are called ‘transpersonal’ or ‘transcendental’, and that’s fine. I’m not so sure they know what these words mean, but let’s take a look at them anyway.
Uranus shows up in 1781, and Uranus is discovered in the sign of Gemini, okay? And so, of course the moderns have given it the rulership of Aquarius—I don’t know why, but they have, other than it seems to be a good idea to some people. Now it’s interesting that Uranus shows up within three weeks of Kant publishing his Critique of Pure Reason. And Schmidt’s always looking for the philosophers that were accompanying the discovery of these planets—whether it’s Kant or Marx or Hegel—and I’m looking for stuff that happened at the same time, which was brand new, never been seen before, new and exciting, and then I try to come up with keywords for that.
Now Uranus is supposed to be chaos, confusion, rebellion, upheaval, and all this other weird stuff that’s predicated by modern astrology. However, I can make a case for each of these planets—and I will right now—that they actually take on more of the features and more of the significances of the lord of the sign in which they were found—in which they were discovered.
Now Uranus shows up in Gemini, and Mercury of course is the lord. And Valens clearly says that Mercury is the planet that is responsible for an erratic change in our life and when things happen for no particular reason at all and stuff that’s totally impossible to forecast—which sounds a hell of a lot like what the moderns attribute to Uranus.
Now what happened at the time? What have we got with Uranus? What happened? It was new. Well, among other things, we had the United States of America. We had the Constitution of the United States of America whereby we have a “We the People” instead of “We the King.” Now this is something new and unusual in the history of the world. This indicates to me that Uranus deals with kind of a rebellious idealism that is not found by any of the other planets.
In other words, Uranus is responsible for what we would call the ‘middle-aged crisis’, where you look around and you say, “I’m tied down to my job. I’m tied down to my marriage. I’m tied down and all that stuff.” And so, you divorce your wife, and you run off with your secretary who is never going to get any older and is never going to give you a rough time, and you buy a sports car and think the wheel is never going to have to be changed. And you end up being disappointed by everything because the wheel does need to be changed and your secretary is going to become a livid bitch—nonetheless, it’s the idealistic push by our friend Uranus that does this.
Now we look at our friend Neptune, and of course they’ve said, “Oh, well, Neptune is like Venus.” And Neptune is fuzzy, and Neptune is all this weird stuff. And of course it has to rule something, so it rules Pisces, and I’m thinking, “What the hell? Well, maybe it’s ruling Pisces because one’s a water sign and the other’s God of the Sea, I don’t know.”
This thing shows up in 1842 or ‘46. Depending on who you’re listening to, sometime in there it shows up. Now what the hell is going on here? Well, and I looked right before and right after, and first off, we had the discovery of photography. We have a guy named Matthew Brady who’s running around on Civil War battlefields taking pictures of corpses laid out, and they get published in newspapers, and people are totally revolted at the death.
Now you hold up the paper and you say, “Look at this. Look at this. Look at all these dead people.” Well, actually they aren’t dead people. Those were images of ink patterned on a piece of paper to resemble—looks real close. This is where we get Hollywood. This is where we get movies and photography and all this kind of stuff. So Neptune deals with a kind of absolute, perfect imagery, which heretofore had never been seen before. Nobody had ever been able to do this.
Now Neptune shows up in Aquarius, and Aquarius of course is ruled by Saturn. So it isn’t too much difficulty in my mind to make the leap from Saturn’s ruling of illusion and deception into an imagery that also can be very deceptive, okay? Remember we’re dealing with Marx. We’re dealing with all this collective weirdo stuff, and it’s odd that this guy shows up at 25° of Gemini and Neptune shows up at 25° of Aquarius, so therefore, Neptune is in superior position to Uranus.
So in the United States, we have this very libertarian, freedom-loving, ‘pull yourself up by your own bootstraps’ that is now starting to be replaced—ever since Lincoln—by the centralization of government and the collective nature thereof, and it’s getting worse and worse and worse. But again, Neptune is in superior position to Uranus and is therefore telling everybody what to do.
Our friend Pluto shows up in Cancer. So what happened? It’s new. What we have is the first computer was invented. And they put this thing together, and they build a special three-story building to put the damn computer in. That cell phone you guys carry around with you today is more powerful than that three-story computer. So Pluto basically takes big stuff and makes it into little stuff, or little stuff—like an atom—and make it into a bomb; little stuff into big stuff. So it either is tremendous reduction or tremendous—one or the other.
And I’ve still been doing a lot of thinking about this, and I wrote this down so I won’t screw it up. Remember, you’ve got the Sun that rules both Leo and Cancer—it takes its domicile by various places. Now the Sun in Cancer—well, let’s look at the Sun in Leo first. There is the Sun. This is fission. F-i-s-s-i-o-n, fission, okay? This is when the atom divides into lighter nuclei (i.e., the base becomes lighter). It takes the base stuff and makes it into lighter stuff, therefore, releasing nuclear energy, which moves darkness into light.
Now fusion would be the Sun in its feminine domicile. This takes lighter material—as in atoms—and divides it into heavier atoms, also releasing nuclear energy, which means it’s actually moving from light into dark. So that tells me that the Sun deals with illumination or it makes things light so you’re able to see them. So it seems to me that this is basically the difference that’s going on here with our friend Pluto and why it picks up after the Sun in Cancer. It’s basically the same damn deal.
So either these planets are transcendental or they’re not. Remember that the word ‘transcendental’ was first used in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, which goes back to our friend Uranus who became the transcendental planet. Now we have Sputnik show up in the ‘50s—I remember that. Everybody ran out in the backyard and watched this little satellite go across the sky—it was a big deal. What does Sputnik rule? What happened at the time? Everybody went out and built a bomb shelter in their backyard. So Sputnik rules bomb shelters.
And now we’re into Chiron. We have a bazillion asteroids and everybody has to do everything. And we have Ceres, we have other weird stuff; we have all of this Mickey Mouse stuff that’s going down. But nobody’s ever really thought the thing through; they just take what somebody else did way back when. And the guy that slammed Uranus into the ruling sign of—having it being ruled by Aquarius was an Aquarian, so of course he wanted Uranus there. I think it was Raphael either the First or the Second—it was one of these wacko jobs.
And since then everybody has to keep things going. All of a sudden we end up with, “Oh, we’re going to put this guy into Scorpio,” so Pluto now gets to rule Scorpio. And then of course, I mean, the whole thing falls apart when you actually say, “Well, does this have an exaltation board?” “Oh, yes, it’s exalted in Scorpio.” And I’m thinking, no planet can take its exaltation in Scorpio because it is the depression of the Moon, so all of this modern stuff starts to unravel. This stuff is icing on the cake. You should be able to read a chart and do a helluva job with seven lousy planets. You don’t need these guys.
Now when they hit an angle, it’s like Schmidt—Schmidt has Pluto right on his Ascendant. So what is Schmidt doing? Here we have a brain that could have gone to MIT. This guy could do anything he wants to do. So he took a very small subject (which is like astrology), and then he took a smaller subject (which is Hellenistic astrology) and he’s studying and translating the hell out of this stuff. Well, talk about trying to make something very little into a big deal—I mean, there it is right there. That’s basically what Pluto is doing.
So I don’t know what else to say about this, other than a lot of modern stuff is ill-thought, ill-conceived, and it just doesn’t make sense. So my recommendation is to go back to the stuff that is philosophically-grounded in a system that actually is connected with each other and makes sense. This is how the West thinks. It is very logical. And it basically works like a charm. I mean, this is dynamite astrology.
Now this is just an overview. And there are plenty of people out there to give little classes and courses in this stuff, and they aren’t very expensive. I think Chris Brennan’s website—I think he’s teaching a class, and I don’t think it’s a hundred bucks or something.
And you get a course and learn this stuff, start buying the books and start studying—this is my recommendation for the ‘what it’s worth’ department. And this is basically the introduction and overview to Hellenistic astrology. This is what works, this is why it works—there it is. So have a good time and knock yourselves out.
[end of lecture]
CB: Welcome to WTAR Traditional Astrology Radio. I’m Chris Brennan, and it’s Tuesday, December 7, 2010. I’m here in Denver, Colorado. This is my first show since taking over from Jacqui last month, and tonight I’m going to be interviewing astrologer Alan White.
So Alan is an ex-Special Forces Vietnam veteran, and he’s been practicing astrology for several decades. He’s given talks at a number of major astrology conferences, including the United Astrology Conference and the Northwest Astrology Conference. He specializes in Hellenistic astrology. So Alan, welcome to the show.
AW: Thanks, Chris. How are you doing tonight? Is it snowing in Colorado?
CB: It is chilly here, but it’s not quite snowing yet. But it’s a good evening to have an interview, so thanks for coming on.
AW: Ha-ha, you are more than welcome, sir.
CB: So first things first, you’ve got probably one of the most colorful backgrounds of any astrologer I know. So how did you get into astrology?
AW: Well, I just kind of fumbled into it in order to disprove it. Maybe I ought to start off with the first two things I always do in readings so I get two things right. Way back when, I was born at an early age and I was very young at the time…
AW: …which gives me two things that are absolutely accurate.
CB: Right—that’s a good opening statement for any delineation, I think.
AW: Yeah. Actually when I was a young kid, 12-13-14, they were doing the studies at Duke University on ESP.
AW: You know, ‘woo-woo’, things that go bump in the dark and all that stuff, and I was really interested in that. I thought it was a lot of hooey. But then there was a book that came out—I don’t know, you’re probably too young to remember this—it’s called The Search for Bridey Murphy. It was about this gal who had all of these past life experiences relegated to this gal who lived in Ireland named Bridey Murphy.
And they tracked this woman down—who had been long deceased—but they found that this woman had all these experiences that were exactly the same; you know, more ‘woo-woo’ stuff. So I thought this was very strange. I still had no clue about astrology, but it got me interested in things that go bump in the dark, metaphysics in general, that kind of stuff.
CB: Right, paranormal sort of studies.
AW: Anyway, I grew up in Northern Virginia, right outside Washington, DC, at a time when teenagers were invented. You know, this was something new and unusual. We had an entirely new class of people with their own music and their own spending money. This is new in American culture—you know, Chuck Berry and Fats Domino and all that stuff.
So anyway, I went to high school and got out of high school, joined the Army to see the world, find out who I was, that kind of thing. Ended up going through jump school and got a Green Beret and went to Vietnam. When I was in Vietnam, I went into the PX at Saigon and purchased a watch—my favorite wristwatch that I’ve been wearing forever—which was a Zodiac; you know, Zodiac Watch Company.
AW: And it had the phase of the Moon on it, which I thought was really cool. So here is this harbinger of what I’m going to be doing 30 years down the road from that point. I mean, this is really bizarre when you start thinking about it.
CB: And are you in your early 20s at that point?
AW: Yeah, I was 22.
CB: Okay, and you were in the Special Forces.
AW: Yeah, and picking up a Zodiac watch at the PX.
CB: Right. So then what actually led to your study of astrology after that point? You said that you wanted to disprove it.
AW: Yeah, my sister was into this when I got back from ‘Nam. And about 10 years after that she gave me one of these ‘cookbook’ astrology deals—you know, totally general modern astrology stuff—but enough of it hit that I was rather captivated by it.
At the time, I was doing a lot of studying of palmistry and all kinds of metaphysics in general, just reading books, and I noticed all the lines on the hand and the mounts and everything were named after planets, so I started picking up astrology books and reading astrology books. And I got to the point where I could pick up a new book and about 60% of it was rehashed…
AW: …20% of it was maybe some new stuff from the author, and 20% was absolute rubbish. But I got to the point where I could distinguish all of this stuff.
CB: Right. And what is this—the early ‘70s at this point?
AW: Yeah, early ‘70s, mid-‘70s, that kind of thing. So I finally got up enough courage to go to a conference. So I went to the NCGR conference at—I think it was at the Key Bridge Marriott in Washington, DC, right across the river from DC. And all of the wheels and all of the guns were there, and here I am, this little bumpkin from absolute nowhere that is going to be rubbing shoulders with these people.
And I went to a couple of the classes, and man, was I in for a big disappointment. Hell, I knew more about what was going on than the people who were giving the classes did. One gal was going to channel the class. “Ooh, you have to come to my class.” So I went and I listened and the spirit didn’t show up. So after 15 minutes of her just standing in front of the room—and I was sitting there, everybody’s very uncomfortable—somebody else stood up and I don’t even remember what they were talking about, but it was very disappointing to me.
CB: Right, this was the person who said they were going to channel their astrological lecture.
AW: An astrological lecture, but the spirit didn’t show.
CB: Right, so they just froze.
CB: So that was your introduction to the modern astrological community.
AW: Yeah, right. And I’m thinking, “You’ve got to be kidding me,” right? I mean, these are the people who are running this thing?
CB: And when was this?
AW: Uh, I don’t know. It’s mid-‘70s, I guess.
CB: Okay, got it.
AW: Anyway, I kind of gave up on it for a while and just went home and studied more. But I went to Koiner, who has a picnic every year in DC, and she was there in Silver Spring.
CB: Lynn Koiner?
AW: Yeah. So I went to Lynn Koiner’s picnic and ran into Ellen Black, and Ellen Black from Project Hindsight is trying to drum up people to come to the first conference. And I just started a new job, and it was no damn way that I could do this.
CB: Right. This is 1994?
AW: So I gave her my card, you know, that kind of stuff. So next year, I get a call from Ellen Black that the card had jumped out of her wallet, and I had to be at this thing.
CB: So this is like 1994?
AW: Yeah, my business card. So she was meeting in the American Legion Hall and wanted me to come up wearing my ‘Go to Hell’ jacket with all of the Special Forces patches, you know, Vietcong Honey Club, and Cambodian Border Safety Guard, and all this kind of stuff. You know, where you’ve been, where you’re going, who your mother-in-law is, what you had for breakfast, Vietnamese Jump Wings, the whole deal.
So here I show up wearing the Green Beret with all this, go into the bar, and there are two gals, and I say, “Good morning,” and they just sniffed at me like I was some kind of horrible creature from outer space. So I went to the bar and ordered a beer and there were some veterans at the bar, I introduced myself. Of course in a little podunk town Berkeley Springs, if you’re a Green Beret and going to the VFW or the American Legion—unless they had a couple of guys who’d go in there frequently—this is a big deal.
So anyway, there was a conversation going on between a bunch of the regulars, and finally, one of them leans over and he says, “We’re glad to have you, welcome. But we have guest astrologers here this week.” And I said, “Yeah, I know. I’m one of them.” “Oh, well, now this is really great. We have a Green Beret who comes into our club who’s an astrologer, and we got all these wacko astrologers.” Anyway, what happened was the veterans started buying the astrologers beers and everybody got along well for the week—except for me because the astrological community still snubbed me.
AW: I mean, it was just crazy. Even Hand makes this comment when he is droning on and on about something about, “Well, you know, in the astrological community, we’re all left-of-center, with the limited exception of Alan White in the back row.” And of course everybody turns around and gives me a sneer. I mean, this is the leftover price from the ‘60s. Remember, we were all baby-killers and all that stuff.
AW: Yeah, we made some peace in the valley with the veterans, but not so much with me. And it’s been like that ever since I’ve been in the astrological community to tell you the truth.
CB: Right. I mean, you’re definitely unique. I mean, there’s not a lot of astrologers that are ex-Special Forces. I think obviously you have a unique background, so it’s a little bit more different.
AW: And also, it makes me really hardcore and hardnosed, which opened the door to Hellenistic astrology because that’s what it is. It makes sense. It isn’t this ‘woo-woo’, peace and light and love and blessings and rainbows in the sky and herds of unicorns and little fuzzy kittens forever.
I mean, this stuff is you look at a chart and you read the chart—this is what it’s going to say. You’re going to have some events that show up, and this is how you gauge them. This is what goes on. It’s an excuse to justify other people’s bad behavior—like ‘Mars made you do it’, you know, that kind of stuff.
CB: Yeah, I can imagine that that type of astrology—Hellenistic, which tends to be more event-oriented and more concrete—would be more appealing to somebody that’s more of a straight-shooter.
AW: Yeah, I like the philosophy aspect of it. And of course you were there when we went around with Schmidt over and over and over again. I mean, the philosophy is fine, but we’re still dealing with astrology, so it has to make good astrological sense. It can’t just make good philosophical sense—it has to do both.
And that’s when the project had all of—I don’t know what you call them, the ‘court hanger-ons’, or advisors, or the people who were constantly up there in the project making sure that everything that came out of the project made sense, was organized, could be presented, was impossible to refute, and made good astrological sense.
CB: Right, basically the role you were playing when I was at Hindsight was, as you said, making sure that things made not just good philosophical or conceptual sense, but that they worked out actually in chart delineations. And that was usually your role in I guess working with Schmidt in order to make sure that that was the case, so that some of the theories that he was developing made sense in chart delineations.
AW: Yeah, and of course I won a few and I lost a few. And some I refused to back down on, which is why he still calls me a ‘heretic’ if it isn’t 100% Hellenistic on certain subjects. I mean, like the Sun ruling Cancer—this is one of my things and I refuse to budge on. I mean, it makes too much sense for it to be otherwise.
CB: Right, based on the Persian passage from the sage’s book that the Sun rules both of those signs or something?
AW: Yeah, what he says is that the Moon moves too fast to have its own zoidion. However, because of its affinity to Cancer, we will allow it co-rulership with the Sun.
AW: And the Sun therefore takes its ‘feminine’ domicile in Cancer, which makes a great deal of sense because it puts it opposite Saturn’s domicile. So you now have the Sun opposite both of Saturn’s domicile, okay?
AW: And the Sun now has two domiciles. One of them is like ‘fission’ and the other’s like ‘fusion’, but it’s still thermodynamic energy. I mean, what do you do with the Sun at night? It’s still being the Sun, okay? However, you can’t see it, so it’s kind of a ‘sneaky’ Sun.
AW: Well, with Cancer, I have a friend of mine that’s a Cancer, and she is just the sweetest person that you could meet. Yeah, they’re nurturing and all the stuff that goes with Cancer. But when you put her on an internet chat list, I’m telling you, she’s got an entirely different personality. She comes across like an atomic bomb. It’s like Pluto personified. You know what I mean?
CB: And speaking of Pluto, that’s also one of the interesting approaches that I think you’ve taken. Obviously, your primary background is Hellenistic at this point, you’re very much still rooted in modern astrology, but you take a lot of modern concepts and try to approach them like a traditional astrologer would—like somebody like Valens would in the 2nd century. If you took his approach through the outer planets and then tried to figure out how to use them in a Hellenistic context, it seems like that’s what a lot of your work has been about.
AW: Yeah, it’s a little bit more than that because this is one of the things that really discouraged me with modern astrology. I mean, you go to modern astrology, and boy, they can tell you everything you wanted to know and then some about ‘Minnie, Mickey, and Pluto’ without really knowing what the hell they’re talking about. All they’re doing is mouthing other stuff.
Now when you really look at this, all the moderns have done is taken a bunch of significations from other planets, slammed them into a planet, and then assign that planet to a particular zodiac that they feel that planet would be most comfortable in. Well, this doesn’t make any damn sense at all. This doesn’t even make philosophical sense. It doesn’t make astrological sense. It just doesn’t make sense.
AW: So I take it from the point of view of what was going on at the time that these guys showed up. What did they bring to the table that was new, and I mean, brand new? I don’t mean Mickey Mouse rehash stuff—new stuff.
What did Uranus show up with? It showed up with the concept of individual liberties for the people. Individualism. I mean, this was a big deal. This is not something that had been heard of before because everybody generally had a monarch or a king. There was something that was going on—an aristocracy or an elite ruling class, whatever it was—but the people sure as hell weren’t in charge, somebody else was. You know what I mean?
AW: This is a new deal, okay? And then I look at the discovery degrees, and I figure in a preexisting chart, they had to be plugged in at that point—that’s when they’re born. That’s when society is ready, when the human race is ready to receive their gifts.
CB: Right. Like one of the positions that we’ve talked about a lot before—you take a strong position that the outer planets aren’t valid, or in some sense weren’t useful in delineations prior to their discovery, right?
AW: Yeah, exactly right. What’s the point at looking at Pluto in Nero’s chart? Who gives a damn? But you would want to look at Pluto in the United States chart. You’d look at it in your chart. But in the United States chart that I use, it’s a preexisting condition. The chart preexisted the discovery of this point. So the point of discovery becomes the natal position of that planet in that chart.
CB: The way in which you use it is to actually use the discovery degree as sort of a key degree for that planet.
AW: Yeah. In other words, what you have when Uranus shows up, Uranus shows up at 26° of Gemini, okay? Now when they write the Constitution of the United States of America, we have Jupiter ruling governments—that’s a specific signification that’s given by Valens; and this is back in the Stone Age probably because all governments expand themselves; that’s what they do best. And he shows up at 26° of Gemini—that’s where he is. He’s exactly on the Uranus discovery degree. So we now have this new concept that applies to government because that’s what the Constitution is—it’s a framework for the government. It isn’t the Declaration of Independence. This is something else again, okay?
Neptune shows up at 25° of Aquarius, and it’s in the 5th house in the chart that I use. It’s exactly opposite Venus. And from that you get imagery, but you get more than that, you get like Hollywood. Because what happened when this guy was discovered of course you’ve got Marx and the socialism, the progressives, and later the communists and all this kind of stuff, but what you have here is an imagery that is almost real.
So you have guys like Matthew Brady out running around on Civil War battlefields taking photographs of Civil War dead, guys just in layers that have been wiped out by rifle fire and cannon fire. And they printed them in the newspapers, and people got all shook up because they’d never seen anything like this before. Look at all these dead people. But they’re not looking at dead people. They’re looking at images of ink smeared on a piece of paper to make it look like what it’s supposed to look like.
AW: So it takes after the lord of the sign in which it is discovered. Saturn rules deception, and Neptune is like imagery, which is kind of a deception, but it is a more subtle form. That gets us to the movies and television and God knows what else.
CB: Right, and that makes a lot of sense. One of your critiques is that the outer planets in modern astrology have appropriated a lot of the significations of the inner planets. But instead of saying that they’ve replaced them or taken them over, instead they’re actually gaining some of that from the domicile lord of the sign that they were discovered in.
AW: Sure. Look at Uranus. Uranus—we give it change, chaos. It’s when the wheels fall off the wagon for no reason at all. And what does Valens say about Mercury? I mean, the thing shows up in Gemini. He says about Mercury that Mercury is responsible for conditions in our life that show up that we have no explanation for—stuff that comes right out of the blue. I mean, that’s what he says. Now, boy, if that ain’t a description of Uranus, I don’t know what the hell is. It really is.
And then we have our good friend Pluto who shows up at 17° of Cancer. Remember that’s that feminine domicile of the Sun. And I did a chart on Trinity—Trinity was the first atomic explosion, so the first atomic bomb—and what we have is we have Saturn co-joining the Moon exactly at 17° of Cancer. Boom.
So Pluto, in my opinion, takes big stuff and makes it little, and little stuff and makes it big. In other words, it takes an atom and it makes bomb out of it. Or in 1930, when it was discovered, they built the first computer—it was the University of Chicago—and they had to construct a three-story building in order to put this stupid computer in there. I mean, it was a monstrous thing, right? Now the cellphone that you carry in your pocket today is much more powerful than that three-story computer was then. So this is Pluto taking big stuff and making it into little stuff.
AW: Even if you check in people’s charts, look at this—Schmidt, as a good example, has Pluto on his Ascendant exactly. Now Schmidt has a hell of a brain. He had a scholarship to MIT; I mean, he could have done anything. He decided to go to St. John’s in Maryland and learn how to think, which is what he did. Now he has taken something very minute in the world of academia—called Hellenistic astrology—and made a big deal out of it. That’s Pluto again. And it’s also very powerful, but it’s something little and making it into a big deal—welcome to the wonderful world of Pluto.
AW: So I look at Minnie, Mickey, and Pluto if they’re on an angle—a natal one—a planet, or you have transits to that natal position of discovery, particularly in a preexisting chart, because the chart I’m running is the Declaration for the Necessity of Taking Up Arms, which predates the Declaration of Independence by a year, and I think that’s the formation of these United States of America as opposed to the Declaration.
CB: Right. You use the ‘War’ chart as the chart for the US.
AW: Yeah, Boyd and Firebrace came up with this. I read the book and I was very impressed with it because I had been looking for the right chart. I didn’t like Sibley. It was a weak ‘sister’ chart. Everything and his brother-in-law is in the 8th house, which is a dysfunctional place, including the lord of the Ascendant. The lord of the Ascendant doesn’t even see the Ascendant. I mean, the chart is totally nuts.
AW: It was like a banana republic. I mean, that’s what it was.
CB: Traditionally speaking, I think I’d agree that the Sibley chart doesn’t look like the best inceptional chart for a nation.
AW: But it had to be because of what it is and what it did.
AW: In other words, what you have here is a year before that less two days—in other words, we’re still in this birth house profection deal—what you have is the Second Continental Congress gets together and they list a bunch of grievances, and the last sentence is, “We are taking up arms, and we will not put them down until hostilities ceases.”
Now this is the closest thing to a declaration of war I’ve ever heard because before this time, all the shooting has been going on between militias. In other words, it’s been the Massachusetts militia or the New York militia or the New Jersey militia, but it hasn’t been any kind of unified effort. Now they just made George Washington the commander of the military, organized an army, and here we go, and all of the 13 colonies signed on to the thing. So effectively at that time, we became a country.
CB: What’s the data for this chart?
AW: Oh, it’s July 6, 1775 at 11:05 AM in Philadelphia. Now of course Boyd and Firebrace were siderealists, and when I converted the thing over, I ended up with a 29° Virgo rising, which nothing worked in the thing. So I adjusted the time by five minutes of clock time and ended up with 0° on a whole house cusp, and I ended up with a chart that looks like an absolute super power, which is basically what’s going on.
And the profections work on every damn event that I have just thrown out—I just picked them—everything from the Seneca Falls Conference to the Transatlantic Railroad, right on down the line. Building of the Panama Canal, a lot of different wars, landing on the Moon—the profections work. And when I’m talking about profections, that is the lord for that profected place. It runs the year and gives significant events. Transits to or by that become significant.
So transits to or by that planet actually have something to say, and they also have something to say about what’s going on. In other words, you can’t have things like Neptune sextiles Venus, and so, we go to war. I mean, neither one of these planets has to do anything with that—that’s just a transit. Now when you have something like Neptune on top of Mars, that’s going to war, that’s a different concept. That’s a seaborne attack.
CB: So some of the placements, just really quick in this chart—just for those that are listening—the chart has 0 Libra rising, with Saturn at 2 Libra exalted in the 1st house. The Moon’s at 20…
AW: Also, it’s in its own bounds. It’s doubly-dignified.
CB: Okay. And also in a day chart, the Sun is in Cancer, in the 10th whole sign house, at 14 Cancer. Jupiter’s at 9 Gemini sextile to Mercury at 10 Leo in the 11th, with Venus at 26 Leo. Mars in the 12th at 27 Virgo. The Lot of Fortune is in Capricorn with its domicile lord being Saturn in the 10th house relative to Fortune.
AW: Yeah, it’s a ‘big gun’ chart. And the Moon—which is ‘We the People’—is in the 1st house.
AW: So there is very little known in Hellenistic astrology on mundane astrology. I mean, very little. So actually I got into this thing to determine whether or not we could use the Hellenistic concepts that we have in a mundane frame and do they work. And the answer is yes we can and yes they do.
CB: Okay. Hellenistic astrology, I definitely would agree, is almost entirely focused on natal astrology, and only to a lesser extent on electional. It’s really during the Medieval period that mundane becomes more prominent. So you’re taking some of the natal techniques—the time-lord techniques for natal astrology from the Hellenistic—and applying it to this chart.
AW: Yeah, right. Sure.
CB: Got it.
AW: In other words, I could also do this based on modern astrology. We can look at that 0° rising as a new nation, okay? And we have Saturn there, which Saturn is basically rules and regulations, okay? So it’s a new nation under law. ‘We, the People’, that’s the Moon; it’s in the 1st house. This is of the people, for the people, and by the people.
You’ve got the Sun in the 10th, which is the President, you’ve got Jupiter in the 9th, which is the court system, and you’ve got two bodies—Venus and Mercury—occupying the 11th, which would be Congress, representing the two Houses: the raucous House of Representatives by Mercury and the more sedate Senate represented by Venus.
And you end up with Mars stuck in the 12th controlled by the military, or controlled by the people. Because Virgo and Libra have the same essential time, so you can read them basically as a co-joining, okay? From a modern frame, I can read it the same way. This is what the thing says. When I start doing profections on this thing, boy, it really comes alive.
CB: Yeah, Nick Dagan Best—there’s a chatroom that’s open right now while the show is going—and he says that it was using this chart that you came the closest out of any astrologer he knows to predicting 9/11. And he says that you made that prediction in July of 2001.
AW: Somewhere around it—I don’t know. I’ve been giving talks on this chart, geez, I guess for the past 12 years—once a year—at this little annual event that the Winchester, Virginia ‘woo-woo’ mob has. And of course they’re all a bunch of howling liberals, and they hate my guts, but they all come to listen to what I have to say.
And so, I generally end up with standing room-only, full house, a whole living room full of people sitting on the floor, and we go down the garden path on this is what’s going to happen this year. And I’ve been pretty much right on the money for the last 10 or 12 years. I mean, this is what’s been going down.
CB: So what was it? I guess you were basically looking at the eclipse back in 1999 and 2001. I guess Nick says that if you had focused on that ingress—that Mars ingress—you would have had it to the day or within a day.
AW: Well, it would have been awfully close. But ingresses run for 14 days. I mean, you’ve got a 7-day stretch period up to the point that they are totally intensified at the event, and then release and that kind of thing for the next 7 days, until they get back down to normal again.
So what you’re basically looking for with Hellenistic astrology—that modern astrology doesn’t have at all—is the intensification of planets. So you have a timing mechanism. In other words, you’re looking for the lord of the year, the lord of the month, who is hot. Okay, well, you know who’s hot and you know who’s not, but you know who’s screwing who and who’s on top and that’ll give you an event.
Then you’ve got to figure out what places they’re coming out of. Where do they come from? Why are they doing what they’re doing? Because we still have the topical places.
CB: This is whole sign houses?
AW: Yeah, well, I hate to use that. I just hate to use the word ‘signs’ because a zoidion is not a sign, the ‘places’ are the signs. In other words, when you get into the 1st house, 2nd house, 3rd house—we can thank the Arabs for screwing all this up. The house is the place, okay? And the first topical place gives determination for the signs of whatever it is. In other words, it points directions to a particular thing—that’s what a sign does.
You go into a strip center and they’ve got 12 identical storefronts, okay? And the only way that you know what’s going is there’s a sign over the top of each one of them. This is so you don’t go into a florist and order a double pepperoni with extra cheese, or you don’t go into the pizza joint and order a side of beef and some broccoli because it isn’t the supermarket. So I prefer to use the term zoidion, which is supposed to be an image, an animal, and a living thing that has natures and qualities that it impresses on whatever place it finds itself in.
CB: Right. I think that Schmidt finally settled on ‘image’ recently, and he’s trying to push that as the new translation of sign or zoidion. Although it’s sort of missing that other half of the component, which is the notion of something that’s living or a living being.
AW: I think they’re the most important things going, and you’ve got to go to them first because they are a living thing. I mean, that’s where we get ‘zoology’ and ‘zoo’ from, ‘zo-diac’. I mean, it’s a zoo out there.
AW: You’ve been in the astrological world long enough to figure that one out.
CB: Yeah, definitely. Astrological politics I would definitely call an animal farm.
AW: Yeah, right. I mean, that’s how I see it. Remember, I’ve advised you on this stuff. Watch your back.
CB: Yeah, that’s one of your biggest pieces of advice to a new astrologer is don’t get embroiled in astrological politics.
AW: Yeah, I mean, I don’t even know if I’m going to rejoin the NCGR. I mean, I’ve given these people money forever. All they want is if you’re going to speak at an astrological conference that’s run by the NCGR, you have to have certification from the NCGR. But the damn stuff that they teach and they demand that you know is all bogus. And here’s the big problem, Chris, they know it’s bogus. That’s the problem and this really upsets me.
The second conclave we had—when I was all dressed up in my war suit—all the big guns from astrology were there. They went, “Oh, wow, this makes so much sense. And I’m going to have to change my lectures, and I’ll have to rewrite my book,” and yadda, yadda, yadda, but nobody did it. Yeah, Demetra did it, but nobody else did it.
CB: Right. You had an interesting perspective being there. I mean, right in the middle of the ‘90s, when Project Hindsight was first taking off, I’m sure there were a lot of people that were feeling like that was going to change everything, and that the whole community was going to be different in a very short period of time.
AW: So these people are still using the same bogus concepts on people who don’t know anything and go to their first conference. It’s crazy. I mean, it’s just nuts. And ISAR—I mean, they’ve been trying to get me to join ISAR forever, and I refuse to do it because of this ‘ethics’ thing. They demand that you don’t speak about death.
Well, I mean, we speak about death all the time. We have endings of marriage. That’s a divorce; it’s the death of something. I mean, we talk about death all the damn time. “Oh, no, but you can’t talk about death.” Well, why not? All this shows to me is that the people who are members of this organization are incompetent. That’s what it shows to me.
CB: I mean, there’s definitely some issues. Modern astrology and modern astrologers definitely have an aversion to the notion that astrology’s purpose is for prediction. And it seems like what you’re saying is let the ethical guidelines reflect that there’s been an aversion to the notion that astrology’s about prediction, despite the fact that’s the entire notion underlying it.
As soon as you start making statements about a person’s birth chart—which is just a diagram that represents the positions of the planets the day that they were born—you’re inherently making a prediction based on that.
AW: All right, there are two things that I could say about this. The first thing is to ask the question of what is astrology. What is the definition of astrology? Now according to Bonatti, it is to predict the future and reconstruct the past—and that’s what it is. You figure out what went down based on previous hits on a planet at a particular time, and then you assess such to predict the future. Other than that, what in the hell good is it?
The second thing is that there is a psychological ‘mumbo-jumbo’ crowd in astrology that wants to co-opt astrology. In other words, you have to have a degree in psychology in order to practice astrology. I mean, what else are you going to do with a BA in psychology? That kind of thing.
CB: Right. So you object to the notion that astrology…
AW: Yeah, that’s spread to the astrological mainstream, and they demand to be accepted by the academic and scientific community as a legitimate form. And I’m thinking, look, they aren’t going to accept you. If they do anything, they will co-opt you, and you will no longer have any say in anything astrologically because it’ll come out of some ‘ivory tower’ university.
CB: That’s interesting that you say that because that’s actually become a point of discussion recently in the community. Because Christopher Warnock wrote this op-ed piece on his forum last month about astrologers trying to get into universities and trying to appeal to academics or something, and he was sort of railing against that, and also railing against astrological organizations that have attempted that, like Kepler. And he was saying that Kepler was bad or misguided or something they weren’t teaching enough astrology, and they were doing it purely in an academic context.
AW: I think how the astrological community as a whole runs its astrological colleges that’s an entirely different concept than being co-opted by Duke or the University of Maryland or Stanford or UCLA or something like that—that’s a different view.
CB: Yeah, I agree. I mean, I think there’s definitely a role for things like Kepler.
AW: I mean, that’s basically what Hindsight is, it just doesn’t have a degree program, but we were still talking a lot about astrology.
CB: I mean, Hindsight had the potential of doing that. I mean, the biggest effect that Hindsight had in a larger teaching context was through Kepler and through Demetra basically learning Hellenistic astrology from you and from Schmidt and then teaching that to several groups of students through Kepler.
AW: Oh, yeah, I’ve had long conversations with Demetra in that period to make sure her lecture was right. Yeah, been there, done that. Yeah, I got the t-shirt, the whole thing. But this is the kind of stuff we need.
Frankly, I don’t know really what’s going on in Hindsight now. I’ve been down in North Carolina for going on over two years now, so I’m not close enough anymore to get up there everyday. I’m down here, going to the VA once a month, trying to stay alive a little bit longer and that’s basically what I’m up to.
CB: But that’s interesting—I mean, you had a huge effect I think on the history of astrology and on my own studies through the people that you’ve taught. When I was in Oregon a few months ago visiting Demetra, she told me this really funny story about how there was this Kepler symposium that was in Seattle in like 2000 or 2001, and all of the students stayed over and went to the NORWAC conference in Seattle the next weekend.
And one night at the bar, they were all standing around, and there was this guy there and he was sort of aggressively telling them about traditional astrology. And it kind of peaked their interest, and so, they set up an impromptu lecture. I guess that was when you talked at NORWAC?
AW: I guess that was my NORWAC talk, yeah. They try to keep me in the shadows. I did a talk at UAC —‘free speech’ thing—and I had the hall totally filled up—the hall that people used to walk back and forth in the hotel, okay? I created quite a traffic jam. Everybody rushed over and bought books. I mean, this is what you’ve got to do.
AW: But the astrological—they don’t want any parts of me. I mean, they do not want to see me give lectures. They don’t like that, no.
CB: Yeah, you don’t tend to play by the type of rules that I think most organizations like to outline.
AW: Well, it makes them nervous. Yeah, they’ve got this hardcore guy who may say something that doesn’t agree with what they’ve been pushing for the last umpteenth thousand years. This is how these people have made their living. They knew I understood that.
CB: Well, I mean, I think that in the periods in which you’ve been allowed to give lectures, it’s certainly had a major effect, for example, in 2000 or 2001. I guess, from what I’m told, you basically gave an impromptu lecture that was like an introduction to Hellenistic astrology, and the entire class—or current class of Kepler students said that they wanted that material in the curriculum. And so, Demetra then—Demetra George then went off to study Hellenistic astrology with you.
AW: Yeah, I remember we commandeered a room. This was against the party—I mean, they were having a big party upstairs. So we didn’t have any of ‘the guns’ show up other than Demetra. But we had standing room-only in the room. It was a big deal. I had a little chart with me and did my thing.
CB: Nice. I mean, that in and of itself had a huge effect because then Demetra goes on to teach several courses on Hellenistic astrology at Kepler and then a number of people end up taking that. I mean, I’m one of those people that took that course—or was forced to take that course in 2004-2005—so that indirectly sort of made my study of Hellenistic astrology possible.
AW: Yeah, the only place I’ve been allowed to speak and speak fairly freely was up at Hindsight. So all of the conclaves I got basically the option to run my mouth, particularly at night, when everybody’s kind of laid back and having a beer. I’d give my lecture, and you could interrupt at any time and ask questions if you don’t understand this stuff, and it goes fairly well.
But I have people also who have come to these things and sat down on the porch and got drunk on wine. I’ve never attended class one that I’ve ever given and professed to be expert in Hellenistic astrology.
AW: Oh, yeah, yeah—it was in ‘redneck’ North Carolina as a matter of fact. And then of course I got into it with the ‘past life’ crowd. I mean, that just infuriated the hell out of me. I said, “This is great, you’re doing past lives. Can you also do future lives? If the next ones better, do you just commit suicide and leave?” I mean, this is nuts. How do you prove this stuff?
And then I found out what they were doing. Well, they contemplate the nodes and they dream up a story and they start talking. And I’m thinking this is like the gal that channeled the lecture way back when at the first conference that I went to.
CB: You’re talking about Evolutionary Astrology?
AW: To me, this is beyond ‘woo-woo’. I mean, this is just nuts. This is out there somewhere. I just cannot wrap my head around it. Now if they were going to start with something like the prenatal lunation, maybe I could say, “Okay, well, let’s take a look at this.” But they don’t do that, they want to go with the nodes. Now what the hell do the nodes have to do with past lives, God only knows because I sure don’t.
CB: Yeah, that is true. That is kind of a recent phenomenon when you look back in the history of astrology. You would think if the nodes had such important significance in karma and reincarnation, then you would see it show up, for example, in the Indian tradition, where the nodes are used almost as planets and they have been for about 2,000 years now. But they don’t seem to have any special significance or association with karma or reincarnation in Indian astrology.
AW: Yeah, but in Hellenistic, we also use the prenatal lunation. I believe we were brainstorming one night up in Cumberland—I believe it was Demetra that came up with maybe this is the entrance point of the soul into the body. Ahh! And to me that hit home, that made some sense, so I started messing around with that. And there’s no way I can prove it, but there’s no way I can disprove it, but it’s a hell of an interesting theory.
AW: So I don’t know. Of course way back when—when I was still feeling my way around, even before the first Hellenistic conference that I went to—I took a trip with a girlfriend—and then girlfriend—and we went to Virginia Beach and visited Cayce’s Research Center or whatever the hell it is down there. And there was a book in the astrological section—a little pamphlet—on Guido Bonatti’s aphorisms; you know, the 146 aphorisms to judge a chart, blah, blah, blah, that kind of thing.
And it wasn’t very long, so I made a copy of it, and I brought it home. And the first thing it says is determine the sect of the planet and then he never talks about that anymore. And I’m thinking, “What in the hell is ‘sect’? I’ve never even heard of it. Here I’ve been an astrologer for 20 years now, I’ve never even heard the word before.”
Now it’s interesting to me that everybody talks about sect, but nobody defines it. Nobody says what it is, what it’s supposed to do, what is its purpose. They tell you what it is, but they don’t tell you what it’s supposed to do. So I think that there’s some kind of secret esoteric doctrine that goes along with this because it’s always the first thing they mention.
And what I think it is is that the sect of the chart represents the purpose of the soul in this life, and that planets contrary to the sect operate as distractions from that purpose; and they can be good and they can be bad, whatever it is. In other words, you may come in to learn humility. But then again, you become an actor and end up in Hollywood and have a bazillion dollars and drive around in a Duesenberg. Now this doesn’t help your learning to be humble. You know what I mean?
AW: It may be a distraction—it may be a good distraction—but it sure as hell doesn’t help your life purpose.
AW: So I’m kind of messing around with that one in my mind too.
CB: No, that makes sense to me. And that goes along with something that I usually tell clients. Usually the malefic that’s of the sect in favor—so Saturn in a day chart or Mars in a night chart—tends to be obstacles that are sort of surmountable—the situations that ‘whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ type scenarios—whereas the malefic that’s contrary to the sect usually tends to be things that just sort of knock you down that you can’t get back up from.
CB: And there’s something that’s almost a little bit more senseless or a little bit more not constructive about that.
AW: Yeah, there’s that and the lots. Nobody talks about those in modern astrology. They talk about the parts, but I don’t think they know what they are. I mean, it’s the same thing—they talk about the Part of Fortune, but they really don’t know what the hell it is.
But there’s also something like there’s the Lot of Death and there’s the Lot of the Destroyer, and everybody has a destroying planet in their chart. And when these guys get together, you’ve got a crisis on your hands. You’ve got a personal crisis—health crisis or some kind of crisis.
There’s also questions as to do planets cause events. I mean, I’ve doing charts long enough to know that when you park your car outside and a tree falls on it during a windstorm, and you go out there and the lord of the 12th is nail-on the Descendant or something—which deals in death among other things; and the 12th house being your person quadruped, which is generally measured in horsepower; it could be a colt or a Mustang or a Pinto or a God-knows-what—who caused it? Did Mercury cause it? Or did you fail to take notice of the windstorm that was coming to move the car to a safe place so that it wouldn’t get squashed by a tree?
CB: So in that perennial question of ‘are the stars signs or causes’, you take the position that the stars are signs of future events, but not causes?
AW: Yeah, I look at that most of the stuff is capable of mitigation. I mean, there are three kinds of fate, one of which is ‘chiseled in granite’ fate; you’ll live until you die. And when your time comes up, you’re gone, there’s nothing you can do about it, but you can change the—how can I say this—the magnitude of the event. If you know you’re going to get a Mars event, you can change the magnitude of it. In other words, you can stub your toe or you can break your leg. What do you want to do? That kind of stuff.
CB: That’s almost like the Mesopotamian concept of the namburbi rituals or the propitiation rituals where you use a mitigating signification.
AW: Then there’s chance, the Tyche, luck. That’s the Wheel of Fortune. Stuff just happens. Somebody shows up at your door and says, “Wow, you’ve won the million dollar lottery.” And you say, “I don’t play the lottery.” “Oh, we have the wrong address,” and they go next door. Well, you were lucky for a minute, that kind of stuff. You know what I mean?
AW: I mean, there’s chance.
CB: Right. And these are all concepts that really attracted you to traditional astrology because it feels like you have an access point for dealing with those areas?
AW: Yeah, there’s also fate versus free will. I mean, are all these things fated? Yeah, you’re going to get an event when Mars rolls over the Sun, and Mars happens to be the profected planet for the year—you’re going to have an event. Now the question is what kind of event is this going to be. And here’s where the other part comes in—are you going to react in a good way or a bad way? That’s free will. Now that depends on can you make lemonade out of lemons.
CB: And are you talking about just the internal response of the person? Or are you talking about internal versus external?
AW: No, the internal response of the person to the event.
AW: In other words, I think, yes, you can change the magnitude of an event if you know what’s going down. Then, what is your response to it? And that’s I think where your free will comes in. Because, again, you can pile negativity on yourself so the next event is much worse than this one, or you can pile positive in and the next event is not as bad as this one—it depends. It depends on you. I think I’ve said it right.
CB: Yeah, that sounds right to me. On that note, it looks like there is about one minute remaining, so I think this is going to end on us in a few seconds. So I just want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview.
AW: Well, thank you. I feel honored to be your first ‘guinea pig’. I wish we had more time to talk about the ‘War’ chart and things like that.
CB: Yeah, well, thanks for coming on. And hopefully, next time, we’ll have more time to have you on and discuss the ‘War’ chart.
AW: Okay, thank you.
CB: All right, bye.
CB: Thanks to the patrons who helped to support the production of this episode of The Astrology Podcast through our page on Patreon.com. In particular, a shout-out to patrons Christine Stone, Nate Craddock, and Maren Altman, as well as the Astro Gold Astrology App available at Astrogold.io, the Portland School of Astrology at PortlandAstrology.org, and the Honeycomb Collective Personal Astrological Almanacs available at Honeycomb.co.
The production of this episode of the podcast is also supported by the International Society for Astrological Research, which is hosting a major astrology conference in Denver, Colorado, September 10-14, 2020. More information about that at ISAR2020.org. And finally, also, Solar Fire Astrology Software, which is available at Alabe.com. And you can use the promo code ‘AP15’ for a 15% discount on that software.
For more information about how to become a patron of The Astrology Podcast and help support the production of future episodes while getting access to subscriber benefits like early access to new episodes or other bonus content, go to Patreon.com/AstrologyPodcast.