The Astrology Podcast
Transcript of Episode 409, titled:
With Chris Brennan and guest Gary Lorentzen
Episode originally released on July 16, 2023
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: email@example.com
Transcribed by Mary Sharon
Transcription released August 14th, 2023
Copyright © 2023 TheAstrologyPodcast.com
CHRIS BRENNAN: Hey, my name is Chris Brennan and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. In this episode, I’m going to be talking with astrologer Gary Lorentzen about the astrology of the AIDS epidemic. So hey, Gary, thanks for joining me today.
GARY LORENTZEN: Oh, thank you for having me.
CB: Yeah, so this is a topic I wanted to approach from a couple of different angles here. And on the one side, sort of the broader parallels recently that many astrologers have noted between, for example, the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in 2020 and how that really coincided with the explosion of the COVID epidemic, the COVID-19 epidemic. And astrologers have noted the parallels with the emergence of the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s under a similar Saturn-Pluto conjunction, which only occur about every 40 years, and sort of approach it from the perspective of mundane astrology in looking at that and some of the parallels. But then also, there was a more personal dimension to it in terms of the impact on the astrological community and I know that’s something that you’ve written about. Back in 2013 and 2014, you wrote the introduction or the foreword to the first published volume of papers from the first Queer Astrology Conference, and you mentioned the huge impact of AIDS kind of decimating an entire generation of astrologers that were lost in the ’80s and ’90s. And then you wrote in 2014 an expanded article on that in The Ascendant journal, which is the journal for the Association for Young Astrologers. What was the title of that article again?
GL: I believe it was “The Reflections on a Lost Generation of Gay Astrologers”. I think it was something like that. “Reflections on…”
CB: Yeah, “Reflections on a Lost Generation of Queer Astrologers”.
GL: That’s it. Yeah.
CB: Yeah, so I wanted to talk about that from both of those perspectives. Maybe first we can start with that more personal perspective just about what’s your background as an astrologer. Or what’s your history with the subject?
GL: Yeah, I was introduced to astrology in college by a professor in college in a program called The Impact of Buddhism on The West, and astrology was presented as a Buddhist practice as we were academically studying the stuff. And then I started studying it on my own then, but he had an adjunct course that lasted a quarter and it was called Astrology and I Ching Studies. Both. He was taking two different things. I mean, I Ching is obviously Daoism, not Buddhism, but he was looking at those two things and showing their correspondences. He was a friend of Dane Rudhyar, which at the time I did not know that because I didn’t know who Dane Rudhyar was.
CB: Wait, what year is this?
CB: Okay, so you sort of start learning astrology in 1972. And you were born in 1950?
CB: Do you share your birth data?
GL: August 18th, 1950, approximately 9:22-9:23, somewhere in there. 9:23 pm, we’re not sure exactly.
CB: Okay, do you mind if I share the chart?
GL: No, not at all.
CB: Here’s the chart really quickly for the audio listeners. So, you have 29 degrees of Aries rising and your Sun is in Leo at 25 degrees, and your Moon is in Scorpio at six degrees?
CB: All right. So 1972, your teacher knows Dane Rudhyar, which is kind of crazy. He is one of the leading astrologers of the 20th century, one of the most influential astrologers.
GL: Well, it was Dr. José Argüelles. I don’t know if you know that name. He was the Mandala man, right? He did the artwork of Mandala, and he also is man behind the 1986– what did we call that again?
CB: Harmonic Convergence.
GL: The Harmonic Convergence. He was the man behind that.
CB: Well, and then that later got tied into some of the 2012 Mayan astrology stuff, I think as well.
GL: Right. He wrote a book on the interpretation of the Mayan astrology. So, the Mayan calendar.
CB: So he was the one that got you into astrology?
CB: Interesting. Okay. So you’re active then or you started studying astrology then and you actually become active in the astrological community itself. Right?
GL: Right. A friend of mine and I started working together as astrologers in Olympia, Washington. We worked out of a bookstore called The Bookstore. [laughs] Not very creative. [crosstalk]
CB: Nice. That’s a very creative name, I like it. Straight and to the point.
GL: Straight to the point. And we practiced astrology out of there then for a couple of years, but then I moved to Seattle and became involved with the Washington State Association and became president of it. In Seattle, I studied with Mark Robertson and Joanne Wickenburg, primarily. And then I sort of went off on my own and I became a house astrologer at Beltane Books at 50th and University Way in 1970… When was it? ’76, I think. Of course, Maggie Nalbandian and Jeff Green were down the street, and David and Lucy Pond were at the other end of the street at the Magus— associated with the bookstore called the Magus. So, we all knew each other quite well. Jeff and I used to trade students, my students would go to his class, his would come to mine. I would go sit in his classes, sometimes he’d come and sit in mine. And I became very good friends with the Nalbandians then. Of course, Laura was just a kid, but it was a pretty heady time in Seattle for astrology and sort of cut my teeth on all of that, then. Primarily, I was doing humanistic astrology at the time, I wasn’t doing mundane particularly. Although I had read Rudhyar’s The Astrology of America’s Destiny, in which he promotes that rectified version of the Sibley chart.
CB: Okay. Yeah, and that’s something you’ve eventually gone on to specialize in mundane astrology and that was part of actually why I wanted to talk to you about this episode of approaching this from a mundane perspective, as well as from a personal perspective because you have both of those interests converge in the same place.
GL: Yeah, that’s true.
CB: And then the Nalbandians that you mentioned are the founders of the Northwest Astrology Conference which is still going to this day, as well as Maggie Nalbandian was the founder of Kepler College.
GL: Mm-hmm. And she invited me. Yes, I was on the founding… I was a founding board member for Kepler College. She called me and said, “Gary, we want to do this. Please come and help us do this.” I was involved primarily with the curriculum and instructional design development.
CB: Yeah, and we did a whole episode that was the last time you were on the podcast, actually, was back in 2017 in Episode 75 where you and me and Laura Nalbandian talked about the life and work of astrologer Maggie Nalbandian and talked about the formation of Kepler College and how you were responsible in large part for designing the curriculum.
GL: That’s true. And also, arguing the case in front of the Higher Ed Board in Olympia to get it approved as a BA. That was my job, too. So that’s what I did.
CB: Sure. One of the things in your article that I was noting is that in the 1970s, we have the emergence of psychological astrology that entire generation of astrologers who were born in the 1940s, the baby boomer generation are really coming of age and psychological and humanistic astrology is really starting to take off. And one of the things you noted in the article also is that there’s starting to be some movement towards developing more progressive or sort of queer-oriented astrologies, or ones that are at least open and not sort of regressive in terms of their treatment of different sexual orientations. But that was just getting started in the 1970s before the AID crisis hit.
GL: Right. But it was still kind of under wraps. I mean, I can remember meeting with Tony Joseph. I don’t even know if you know that name, but he was an up-and-coming astrologer in the 1970s and really brilliant at what he did, and I really liked his work. I can remember he was in Seattle and stayed with me and we went out to dinner, and I realized… Okay, the way he put it was, “Are you also puer aeternus?” Latin for eternal youth, right? And I looked at him kind of funny and I thought, “What does he mean by that?” And then it suddenly dawned on me, “Oh, I know what it’s called.” And I said, “Yes. Yes, I am.” And he smiled. So then we started talking about how awful the literature was, especially in terms of relationships, and how marginalizing so much of the astrological literature was in regards to gay people and the way it was presented in the literature. But then the literature people in the 1970s, what we were reading and studying was all that stuff from the early part of the 1900s, and some of it even into the 1800s. Right? We didn’t have a lot of literature. There wasn’t a body of literature that went beyond that too much, a lot of theosophical stuff was in the mix. And so he expressed his frustration at “How do we overcome that? How do we re-educate people?”
CB: Right, because the delineation still tended to pathologize homosexuality in different ways.
GL: Exactly. Pathologized and marginalized and… He was from New York, and he was saying, “You know, I have gay clients. I can’t tell them these things that I’m learning when I study, that this is what it’s saying about it. I can’t tell that to a gay client.”
CB: Right. Because it’ll tend to frame being a gay or lesbian in a negative light or associate it with negative aspects or something like that.
GL: Right. Exactly. And that’s when I first started thinking about it myself. I was like, “How do we… How do we de-pathologize the astrology we’re using when we’re dealing with LGBTQ people?” And of course then in talking to other people going on into the early ’80s, one of my good friends Bruce Hammerslough, also openly gay, we talked about it a lot as well. And there were other people too. But again, it was one of the things you get together at a conference and you get together in your small little group and you share information and concerns. And it didn’t go beyond that, other than I noticed that some people were starting to write about things. Howard Sasportas, for example. He started writing some psychological stuff that started nudging the astrological community in a new direction when it came to humanistic astrology. Same with Mark Robertson. And then Mark Robertson died in eighty… I want to say ’85-’86. So he wasn’t doing anything anymore. What he initially put out was… he put out a book, and I can’t remember exactly what it’s called but it dealt with sexuality, and he took a completely different view of sexuality and relationships than any other astrologer I had ever read. And then I realized that he was trying to push things forward as well. So it was starting, but then we lost them all.
CB: Right. You listed, I think in your article, at least 14 astrologers that you knew of who had died of AIDS between the early 1980s and the mid-1990s at the height of the AIDS epidemic.
GL: That’s right. Yeah.
CB: And part of your point with that is that these were actually some of the leading astrologers in the community, but they were also an entire generation of people that otherwise would have been at the forefront in having some of those discussions and were starting to in some instances come out, even though there was still fear and there was still a lot of reluctance to come out at that time because it could have had negative social implications in the astrological community. But that whole process basically got delayed a generation, until eventually in 2013 we had the first Queer Astrology Conference.
GL: And I’m so grateful for the younger astrologers who saw the need and took that bull by the horns and started moving things forward. Because people in my generation, there weren’t that many of us left, to be honest. Yeah, there are still a few, like Chris Renstrom and I get together and talk, but it’s completely different because we just have that big hole in our generation of gay astrologers. When you talk about missing at least 14 or 15 important astrologers who actually were contributing something like Richard Idemon and Tony Joseph and Bruce Hammerslough, I mean, that just goes on and on. Howard Sasportas… It was just very frustrating. And it’s wonderful that this younger generation has decided to tackle that and as they say, turned it into a verb, “We’re going to ‘queer’ astrology.” I’m just really grateful that this is a generation that is both intellectually open enough to do that, and also think of it as almost a moral imperative.
CB: Right. Yeah, I interviewed one of the founders of the Queer Astrology Conference, Ian Waisler, in Episode 83 of The Astrology Podcast back in 2016. So you can listen to that for more background and just the formation of some of those first conferences, and that’s still ongoing. But one of the things maybe that’s hard to understand what it was like is that the astrological community wasn’t necessarily welcoming for gay people in the 1970s and ’80s, right?
GL: No, not at all. [laughs] Not at all. But one of the things about my generation of baby boomer astrologers, when we came into astrology, the AFA was pretty much the only show in town. And they were arch-conservative, culturally. That organization was just really tied down. And in 1975 at a conference in San Francisco, the AFA conference, it came to a head where so many of the younger astrologers of my generation who were there sort of rebelled and simply walked away from that and started all these new organizations and associations; everything from NCGR to… I mean, the whole gamut of things that came after that 1975 event in San Francisco. I think part of it was also some of the gay astrologers there. What was being said about homosexuality was almost– no, not almost, it was insulting. And so for me, and I know Tony Joseph was there as well and a few others, we just rejected it. We just put our hands up and said, “You know, none of this stuff. Forget it. We’re not interested in these people and this point of view in doing this kind of astrology.” I never went back to an AFA conference again.
CB: Okay, so that was a huge generator because they were the only ones organizing conferences up to that point, and it was the only national astrological organization in the US. But then all of a sudden once you have that split in the ’70s and ’80s, there’s other organizations being led by younger astrologers that are doing things, and things start shifting and heading in a new direction.
GL: Right, that’s exactly what happened. And I can remember it was in 1978 that in Seattle we decided to have… Actually, it was before that. The year before in ’77, we decided to have a sort of mini-conference and it was just local Northwest astrologers. And it went over so well that Maggie said, “I want to do this and create a regional annual conference.” And so the first effort to do that was done by the WSAA, the Washington State Astrological Association, and they held it at Ocean Shores. And Maggie helped organize that. And out of that experience then in ’78, she goes, “I want to go beyond the region. I want to have a conference here in Seattle that is national and international in scope eventually.” That was her objective. So then I believe it was ’84 when the first NORWAC… It took that much time for her to put things together and figure out how to do it and how to do it right. And yeah, so NORWAC was one of those very first regional conferences like that that had sort of a national import. I know there was one in Southwest, you know, the Southwestern United States in California, and there was another one in the Northeast. There was another one in Southeast with the Metropolitan Atlanta Group when they organized one then two. So during the 1980s, these different conferences started popping up regionally around the country and sort of leaving the AFA behind in that sense.
CB: Right. There was this huge generational shift and NCGR and ISAR were founded and everything else. And then in terms of even the decade that led up to the ’80s, it seems like the gay rights movement was starting to gain steam at that point, where you have like Stonewall happened in what? 1969.
GL: June 28th, 1969. Yeah.
CB: Yeah, and this isn’t a timed chart but I always note that Uranus ingress, that Uranus had just gone into Libra in that chart as a really interesting marker for that being a real turning point.
GL: Yeah, Uranus had zero Libra. It’s hard to avoid what that meant. When I first saw that, too, back when I was first starting to do astrology that Uranus had zero Libra, I went, “Okay, there’s something there to look at.” But the timing, if you want the timing, the timing is 1:20 am is when the very first of the demonstrations or riots in response to the police started.
CB: 1:20 am on June 28th?
CB: Got it. There it is. For the audio listeners, that gives us a chart with 20 Aries rising on the Ascendant and Uranus is over in the seventh whole sign house. It’s just set at the Descendant maybe like an hour earlier. It’s at 0*3’ degrees of Libra so it’s just ingressed into Libra. And then what was this event or what was the significance, for those that don’t have any background on it?
GL: The Stonewall Inn was a bar, a gay bar in Greenwich Village, and it was allowed to stay open because the proprietors actually had to pay the police bribes not to raid the place. But actually the way it worked was they would pay the police– who knows how much, I don’t have any idea– but then the police would have to raid them. They would say, “Well, we have to raid, so we’ll call you and tell you when we’re coming.” And then there were certain rules that had to be followed once the police were there, you know? You couldn’t be dancing, you couldn’t be touching… All these weird little rules the police had around that. And they came that night unannounced, apparently, and people inside were not prepared for a police raid. And especially the drag queens in there responded very negatively. [chuckles] So as they were trying to haul people out and put them in the paddy wagon, those drag queens just rebelled. They just started taking their shoes off and throwing them at the police, and then people who were standing around started throwing things and bricks started being thrown. And then it lasted for three days. And then on July 4th that followed, the Gay Liberation Front was founded in New York City, the GLF. That’s the first, shall we say, civil rights organization that pushed gay rights. That was in the afternoon of July 4th. I don’t have a timed chart for that but I know it was in the early afternoon sometime.
CB: July 4th of 1969?
CB: Okay, there we go. Okay, looks like Mars retrograde. What else is going on in this chart? Uranus still there in early Libra and Jupiter’s coming in for a conjunction pretty soon. It’s actually really… It’s at 28 Virgo.
GL: Yeah, it’s going to cross over and conjoin with Uranus as well. Yeah.
CB: Yeah, literally within the next few weeks, you get that first conjunction in Libra. That’s really striking. So this is a decade before and things are picking up steam, and then all of a sudden it’s like you get to the early 1980s and 1981 and this marks the emergence of the AIDS epidemic. Part of the genesis of this was somebody shared a news article from the New York Times of their first publication of it recently on the 42-year anniversary of that, and I was going through… Actually, here’s the… This was from July 3rd, 1981, where the headline just said “Rare Cancer Seen in 41 Homosexuals. Outbreak Occurs Among Men in New York and California- Eight Died Inside of 2 Years. Doctors in New York and California have diagnosed among homosexual men 41 cases of a rare and often rapidly fatal form of cancer. Eight of the victims died in less than 24 months after the diagnosis was made. The cause of the outbreak is unknown.” And just a little bit about a month before that was the first official notice of this by a professional medical organization when on June 5th, there was a… So, the CDC puts out their first report where they’re noting this, and that is really important astrologically to me because that was right on a Saturn station. And just to draw the parallel in terms of… Let me show some charts on the screen. Here’s the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn, which we only got one exact hit and it was right at the beginning of 2020. I think it was actually right around within a day or two of that The New York Times also published an article about this mysterious sickness that was starting to be noted and it was one of their first pieces of coverage of it. But we already know by that time that it’s spreading, and within a few months it’s like a worldwide pandemic and all of the lockdowns had taken place in March and April of 2020.
GL: Just to add something to that. It was in November right around Thanksgiving that I first got wind of something happening in China. So I started looking; some strange flu again. And I knew the Saturn-Pluto conjunction was coming up very quickly and I thought, “Well, that’s not good.” There were a number of people in the mundane astrology group that I’m in who when I brought it up and they were saying, “Yeah, I saw that too. Let’s explore this.” And so we were already saying this. By December 30th is when we just said, “Oh, this is not going to go well.” And people were predicting a pandemic already by December 30th. But yes, mundane astrologers tend to keep their ear to the ground. [chuckles] We hear these things coming at us and we’re watching the news all over the world and we’re trying to pick up on things. So there were a number of people talking about a coming pandemic already in December.
CB: Yeah, a lot of the astrologers were all… Because everybody saw all those alignments in Capricorn that just didn’t look good of all those planets, chiefly Saturn and Pluto. Previously in Episode 254, Leisa Schaim and I documented how the French astrologer André Barbault who had done a whole study on previous pandemics published a paper way back in 2012 where he predicted a pandemic in the 2020 through 2021 timeframe due to that Saturn-Pluto alignment. And how even other astrologers like Richard Tarnas in his book Cosmos and Psyche had documented the previous alignments of Saturn and Pluto with pandemics.
GL: If you look back, and that’s the thing, one reason we thought another pandemic was coming was because of the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Leo in the late 1940s that coincided with this horrendous polio pandemic that hit worldwide. 50,000 children were dying a year between 1948 and 1952. And then in-
CB: There was another polio one in-
GL: 1914 there was another polio outbreak, but then there was also the massive deaths in World War One– the beginning of World War One. In that two or three months period, about a million men died! Also, there was at the time, within the military on the ground in Europe, there was a flu that swept through. And I’ve read recently– well, not recently, a few years ago– I read where they think that that was actually the originating flu that led to the 1918 pandemic. Because after Americans were sent to Europe for the war in 1917 and then some were infected and they came back at Fort Riley, Kansas, it mutated there to turn into what it did then in 1918. But a lot of things I’ve read suggest that the flu probably actually started already in 1914 on the battlefield.
CB: Interesting. This is from Archetypal Explorer, for those watching the video version. It just shows a graph with the exact Saturn-Pluto hit was in 1914. But when you add the full orb to that of influence, especially when they’re roughly in the same sign together, you get a broader timeframe that goes out a few years on either side of that exact conjunction in 1914. And I know one of the polio things, for example, is there was a major polio outbreak in 1916 in New York, and that was when Saturn and Pluto were still conjoined in Cancer.
GL: Right. Yeah, because the Cancer conjunction took place at two plus Cancer. So Saturn and Pluto were in Cancer then for the next few years.
CB: Right, and that’s one of the things I’ve learned in mundane astrology is even though there’s a heightened intensity at the exact conjunction, really as long as the two planets are in the same sign together, that conjunction is still active or operative.
GL: Right. When the two planets are co-present– doesn’t matter whether they’re conjunct or not– the minute they ingress, you’ve got a crisis when it comes to these conjunctions. And yeah, it does intensify, it does sort of get to a peak period during the conjunction, but as long as they’re co-present in the sign, you’re going to see that. And even after; it depends on what happens, you know? Because for example, the Saturn-Pluto conjunction of ’82 was at the end of Libra. So it bled over, that conjunction bled over as well into Scorpio. It hit it 27 Libra, but then they were conjunct in Scorpio for two years!
CB: Right. Yeah, so you end up getting this extended period from 1981 to 1985 while Saturn is in Libra with Pluto and then in Scorpio with Pluto, so you get this chunk of time. Here’s the graph for that for the 1980s for the Saturn-Pluto alignment and the periods in which it was closer or further away, and how it just stretches that entire first half of that decade. That really did end up being the period of the emergence in initial public inkling about AIDS that eventually went into full-blown awareness of it and attempts to identify and then begin to combat it.
GL: Yeah. It happened in the United States, actually, until 1985 at the end of that horrendous cycle. It wasn’t until 1985 that Reagan even mentioned the word AIDS, and then he only put in $190 million for research. He did very little in response to it. And by 1987, the gay community was just outraged beyond belief that the government just essentially wanted us to die through neglect. I mean, that’s the only conclusion you could come to. It really wasn’t until George W. Bush, believe it or not, he’s the one who put massive amounts of money into AIDS research that we now have. Because of what he did, we now have the regimen and the medications that we do have, like PrEP. All of that came out of the research that started in the early 2000s with George Bush. And then he also extended all of that. He just turned it all over to parts of the world like Africa. He saved millions of lives in Africa by doing that. But in the 1980s at the peak of that Saturn-Pluto, we got nothing from the United States government.
CB: Right. So part of it was there was a perception, or sometimes that it was only affecting the gay community and therefore the government was slow to react or to, especially the White House at the time, the Reagan administration wasn’t taking active steps. Actually, I even heard this recording of a press conference where his Chief of– what is it? His press communicator was just being really derisive and saying homophobic stuff and stuff like that whenever a reporter would ask about what they were doing about it.
GL: Yeah, exactly. And they knew better. They knew different. They really did. They had data from Africa that showed that in Africa, it was primarily among straight people. It was women and children who were dying of AIDS. And they had that information. So that sort of pleading ignorance like they did, and then also just saying it’s a gay disease, that was part and parcel of their anti-gay anti-LGBT policies in the 1980s. And they used the AIDS crisis as a way to attack the gay community.
CB: Right. You recently published an article on your website, garylorentzen.com, on your blog titled “Planetary Pairs and the Aspects in the Eight Phases of their Synodic Cycles,” and at one point, you talk about the Saturn-Pluto alignments and what that combination is about, which might be worth mentioning here just to give some context about why we’re talking about the Saturn-Pluto alignment and why symbolically that’s kind of important. You say Saturn-Pluto combinations signify, “transformation of governmental institutions and agencies, extreme political power struggles, epidemics, new statements of intent regarding economics and the powers of government in controlling the economy. Historically this conjunction has been accompanied by large losses of life,” such as in 1982 and 2020. What else is relevant? Is there anything else that’s relevant to mention here about Saturn-Pluto since that’s the focus of a large part of this discussion about how it ties into the AIDS epidemic?
GL: Well, yeah. You can just sort of extrapolate on that little blurb that I put in there. That article was already getting extremely long and it ended up being 10,000 words long, so I wasn’t going to go into extreme depth. I just simply wanted to give people a thumbnail sketch of what Saturn-Pluto and all these different planetary combinations would likely affect in our world. Think back to the Saturn, Pluto, Jupiter conjunctions in Capricorn and think about the incredible transformations that our democratic institutions, our economic institutions, everything that was touched by the pandemic. And of course it was in Capricorn, too, so you have basically your governmental infrastructures that were in play. And then the attacks on them, calling it the deep state and that the deep state is the enemy of the people. That’s the nature of the Saturn-Pluto in Capricorn. It’ll come out differently in different signs, right? In Cancer, it had an awful lot to do with the rise of the second wave of the KKK and extreme nationalism in the United States. Of course, it was Cancer and our institutions then started adopting that shifting and changing to accommodate that. By the 1920s, it was perfectly okay to be a KKK member. And you could be a politician and you could sit in Congress and no one… It was just considered normal.
CB: Like, extreme forms of nationalism as an outgrowth of that?
GL: Outgrowth of the Saturn-Pluto in Cancer. It’s the Cancer thing that creates that kind of nationalism. In the same way that the Capricorn thing created the negative attitude towards government and governmental structures and institutions when Saturn, Pluto went conjunct there. So, yes. Now, it isn’t just epidemics, but it certainly coincides with major epidemics every time we get that conjunction.
CB: Right. And then in the 1980s then it happens in Libra and then Scorpio and you get this major… The focal point ends up being relationships and sexuality.
GL: Right. Correct.
GL: And it is fascinating that as a result of that– and I mentioned it to you in a conversation we had previously– that that completely shifted the way the gay men particularly viewed relationships. Because for the first time, we had to think about long-term relationships as a way to survive. That if we could stay HIV negative, and the only way to do that at the time was, one, not to have unprotected sex, but also to limit our sexual partners. So suddenly there was a very important shift culturally that we began to value those. Instead of looking for a hookup, we started looking for boyfriends. Instead of looking for a fun time out on an evening, we started looking to see and asking, “Is that person relationship material for me?” That was a huge shift in gay culture at the time. And to me, that’s the Saturn, Pluto in Libra. Right? Their conjunction.
GL: Yeah, for sure. And just a transformation because it’s also just coming a little over a decade from that hippie generation in the late ’60s and early ’70s and the whole free love generation in general. And then all of a sudden, you just hit this wall with Saturn and Pluto and there’s a real existential fear surrounding sex and sexuality.
GL: Yeah. Yes, you could say, and some people have argued that gay people became more conservative because within a few years, the Human Rights Campaign started also in 1982, I believe, April 14th, 1982. And it didn’t take long for them to promote the idea that gay marriage or same-sex marriage was something that we wanted to promote and that would be a goal. The HRC has fought for that ever since, and it’s kind of hard not to look at that Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Libra and say, “Wow, there it is, that shift in culture and moving towards this conservative…” And I say conservative because it does stabilize the subculture itself. It stabilizes society as a whole to sanction these relationships and actually give them legal status. And also in terms of public health, you know, clearly, that allowing same-sex couples to get married and have this permanent relationship and have this relationship with the government the same way that straight couples do is a phenomenally stabilizing shift in the way the country handles its relationship to the LGBTQ community.
CB: Yeah, and I always think about that. I always remember that because it’s actually almost exactly eight years ago now just before the last Venus retrograde in Leo when the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage under that Venus-Jupiter conjunction in late Leo that was very bright and visible in the sky at the time. And then Venus went retrograde that summer and there was this huge uptick basically of same-sex marriages. I think I’ve read stats saying that 10% or something of all the couples that were married over the next three months were same-sex couples, which is amazing. And that would have been a really interesting… That’s an interesting Venus retrograde connection at that time.
GL: It is, isn’t it?
CB: Yeah. Well, it’s cool a bit of mundane astrology. But even aside from that of same-sex marriage, even that aside, even the legalization and it seems like the emergence of AIDS put a lot of pressure to accelerate the push to receive similar legal rights because all of a sudden it was bringing up things like end-of-life care and different things like that that same-sex couples just didn’t have any coverage of.
GL: None, none at all. Not even visitation rights in the hospital, you know? Depending on the hospital and the community you’re in. But generally speaking, no, there was not.
CB: Sure. So it’s tricky because on the one hand with these two topics, they’re separate things like the AIDS epidemic versus gay rights, but they’ve really intersected in this major way especially the early 1980s.
GL: Right, exactly and that’s my point. That as horrible and awful as the pandemic was and as the AIDS epide– we say epidemic but it was a pandemic, it covered the entire world. I don’t know why they still say AIDS epidemic and not pandemic. But yes, it forced a certain response from the gay community as well, not just from the government. We had to change. It was very clear that we had to change if we were going to save our lives. And both in terms of health and staying alive, but also in terms of our relationship with the state, with “the Capitol”, that’s the government. That if we were going to make it, if we were going to continue becoming a part of the fabric of society, then we were going to have to make some changes and we were going to have to shift into something more conservative and leave the old 1960s and ’70s behavior behind.
CB: Yeah. I was surprised by even just the legalization, that there were still anti-sodomy laws on the books that were, you know, that’s not even a euphemism but it’s like a broad anti-same-sex laws just in general on the books until 2003. That it wasn’t until 2003 that the Supreme Court finally struck that down nationally. There was an attempt to do that in 1986 but it was actually upheld, surprisingly, which is-
GL: It was because of the way the Bowers case was argued in 1986. They took a risk in attacking the law, the “sodomy laws” quote-unquote, in a certain way that didn’t work. The Supreme Court didn’t buy the argument. But with Lawrence v. Texas in 2003, they took a very different tact with it and basically used the 14th Amendment and the assumption of a right to privacy that underlay the green wall decision when it came to contraception, that underlay Roe v. Wade. And that’s how Lawrence v. Texas was able to argue it and the Supreme Court had to agree given the precedent that was there. We’ll see how that goes forward because that precedent has been thrown out now. This current Supreme Court rejects the 14th Amendment as a basis for privacy in overturning Roe in the Dobbs decision, so we don’t know where this is going to go. Leaves the door open to attack all civil rights. If they’re not going to use the 14th Amendment to support civil rights, then I don’t know what they use. Because I just… I don’t know. But we can be optimistic because states, if they do leave things to the states, then certain states are going to uphold civil rights for all of their citizens. Some won’t, but…
CB: Right. All right, so let’s go back. I want to start at the very beginning when approaching this from mundane astrology to the very beginning of the AIDS epidemic when it first started to become known. Part of our kind of operating procedure here is something… It’s a really basic principle that I think most mundane astrologers learn pretty early on about planetary cycles, that usually when there’s the conjunction of two outer planets, you see the start of a new era and the foundation of something. But then whatever that is grows and develops during the course of the synodic cycle between those two planets. And especially there are key turning points after the conjunction at the first square, which is the 90-degree point, at the opposition between the two planets, which is the 180-degree point. And then at the waning square, which is the other 90-degree point before the cycle is eventually finished. Saturn and Pluto are on about a 40-year cycle, so we’ll kind of be looking at the from the perspective of starting in the early 1980s and how that conjunction happened at the beginning of the pandemic or epidemic or whatever you want to call it, the AIDS epidemic. But then it played out in some pretty interesting ways over the course of the next 40 years to bring us to roughly where we’re at basically today.
GL: I would add that it’s a developmental thing as well. In other words, what happens at the conjunction is going to tell you how to interpret that first quarter square. What happens at the first quarter square is going to tell you how to interpret what happens at the opposition. It’s developmental. If this, then that.
CB: It refers back to itself.
GL: Exactly. Because the conjunction, as you pointed out, it’s a period of time when there are new intentions in regarding to the two plants that are put forth. There’s a new plan in place, okay? Or trying to be put in place. And what happens and how things develop during that period of time that they are conjunct determines what’s going to happen at the square. Because really, you have another phase in-between. You have the crescent phase 45 degree before you hit that turning point in the 90 degree. So you have the new statements of intent at the conjunction, then you have some resistance to those intentions at the 45 degrees. And those who support the new intentions really have to mobilize their energy in order to keep that cycle going. We’re talking about Saturn and Pluto. So when we look at the disease itself, if we want to say, “Okay, AIDS is related to the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Libra,” if we look at the 45 degree and look at the time period that that occurred, you would see resistance to doing anything about it. Okay? But there was motivation to move beyond that push. The gay community kept pushing. By the square, the gay community was really pushing hard against the government and they started gaining some political traction in the body of politic to support the cause. And so it goes all the way around. So, the first quarter square to me represents sort of a crisis in consciousness. The full phase is where it finally gets put into the body politic, everybody’s aware. And depending on what happened at the first quarter square as long as, let’s say, the fight for a cure, the fight for developing some sort of medical regimen to solve it, we got that pretty much at the opposition at the next Saturn-Pluto conjunction in 2020. Of course then the whole thing shifted, but by the time we got through the last quarter square, we had a regimen of medication that was working for HIV-positive people. So to me, you have to look at it developmentally that way.
CB: Yeah, for sure. That was what I was finding as well that the identification of AIDS basically happened at the conjunction in the 1980s and it was brought into greater and greater awareness the closer you got to the exact conjunction, and things started being done about it. The seeds were laid for the entire cycle in the first half of the 1980s and then you had a really important turning point when Saturn went through Aquarius and squared Pluto which was still in Scorpio in the early 1990s. And there were some… Well, one of the things that happened, unfortunately, is at that point it got worse because at the square it started hitting the high point where the majority of deaths of males of certain age were AIDS-related, basically. And it became the leading cause of deaths first among men and then later also among women for a period of time in the early ’90s around the time of the first square. But they also started-
GL: But it was also a time where the scientists and pharmaceutical companies were finally putting something out there that did prolong life. Right? And even though they didn’t have a tremendous amount of money to work with like the NIH or the CDC, the Clinton administration did start putting more money in the ’90s to keep that going after that square.
CB: Right, for sure. I also noticed that really close to… There was also, you know, there are different phases in public awareness but one of the things that happened in terms of raising public awareness was very close to the Saturn-Pluto square. December 22nd, 1983, the film Philadelphia starring Tom Hanks came out, where he was like a lawyer-
GL: 1993, don’t you mean?
CB: Yeah. Sorry, what did I say? ’83?
GB: ’83, yeah.
CB: Sorry, thanks for catching that. So yeah, December 22nd, 1993. It was based on a true story and it was the first major Hollywood film, at least, on AIDS. And it was just very close, I think Saturn and Pluto were within three degrees of each other at that time. Also around that time, 1995 through ’96, the first protease inhibitor drugs were approved by the FDA, which was not long after that. So yeah, like you said, some of the drugs and other things started being developed that would eventually become the AIDS cocktails that we know today that would successfully make it so that it ceased to be a death sentence and started being something that people would still live long and healthy lives with.
CB: So that was at the square. And then because that was also… It became a major cause of death but then eventually once some of those drugs were developed in the mid-1990s… Actually, let’s back up because we kind of skipped over the first part and I wanted to go back to that and then we’ll return back to the rest of the cycle because I want to set up just the emergence of it. One of the things that happened that’s really striking is if you pull up a chart for June 5th, 1981, this is roughly when most timelines start roughly their chronology of AIDS starting to become known basically in the United States. And one of the things really important that I noticed is that Saturn is stationing direct on this day in Libra, so it’s the first direct station of Saturn since it ingressed into Libra and became co-present in the same sign as Pluto just a little bit earlier.
So this is kind of the first initial build-up to the Saturn-Pluto conjunction. What you’ll see is that on the other side of that station is the first real ramp-up to the Saturn-Pluto conjunction. So here’s an image that just shows where the direct station is in ’81, and then after that point, Saturn and Pluto start closing the distance and getting really close. There’s this super helpful timeline that’s available at hiv.gov and it has this… It’s titled A Timeline of HIV and AIDS. It says for June 5th, the timeline literally starts on that date with June 5th. And it says, “The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) publishes an article in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The article describes cases of a rare lung infection in five young previously healthy gay men in Los Angeles. Los Angeles immunologist Dr. Michael Gottlieb and their colleagues report that older men have other unusual infections as well indicating that their immune systems are not working. Two have already died by the time the report is published and others will die soon after. This edition marks the first official reporting of what will later become known as the AIDS epidemic.”
Then it goes on on June 5 and it says, “The same day that that report is published, a New York dermatologist calls the CDC to report a cluster of cases of a rare and unusually aggressive cancer among gay men in New York and California. Like with the others, it’s associated with people who have a weakened immune system.” And then it says June 5th through the 6th, “The Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times, and The San Francisco Chronicle report on the CDC article. Within days, the CDC receives reports from around the nation of similar cases of PCP, KS, and other opportunistic infections among gay men.” This is basically, for all intents and purposes, is the starting point. And just seeing that and how close that is to the direct station of Saturn is really notable in terms of just seeing that as the build-up to that conjunction and the initial inkling that this thing is out there, but they don’t know… They don’t have any idea what it is yet at this point. They’re just starting to see these patterns and these reports coming in.
GL: Yeah. If I remember right, the first reporting of illness among gay men occurred in early to mid-May. In LA, it was early May. In New York, I believe it was in mid-May that gay newspapers were reporting. Not doing actually investigative reporting, just saying, “Hey, something’s going on out there.” And as those reports then started filtering into the CDC, this becomes an issue for the CDC. And then they put out their report on the 5th and they put their taskforce together three days later.
CB: Got it. Okay. So there was already prior reporting building up to this and other things are feeding into it since that was one of my questions is Saturn had been in Libra for just a little bit so I’m sure there was a build-up even to this when it started to become reported in mainstream sources.
GL: Right. But I do think that Saturn stationed, but then thereafter, Saturn starts moving fairly quickly towards conjunction because a conjunction then occurs on November 7th of 1982. So it’s a year and a half or so in this build-up after the stationary direct on June 5th of ’81. That’s important to me. You’ve obviously made it a central piece of your information regarding the Saturn-Pluto cycle that once it did go direct, once it went stationary direct, that’s when the government actually started moving for the first time. Even though reports had been coming in, it wasn’t until the 5th of June on the station that they actually started moving.
CB: Right. Maybe you should mention what it is or explain AIDS briefly, and at least some of the symptoms and the things that they would have started to see at this point, which is that when the person got HIV… Or what the distinction is even between HIV and AIDS.
GL: Yeah. Well, HIV just means that you test positive for the virus, right? Doesn’t mean that you are going to get sick. And I know men who tested positive who never came down with AIDS. So it’s two different things but the likelihood of being HIV positive and then developing AIDS is very high, especially in the 1980s because there was no medical regimen to stop it.
CB: What I was reading earlier today was that AIDS is like an advanced level of development of HIV when the immune system has become damaged so heavily that it’s unable to fight off other types of-
GL: Opportunistic diseases, like various forms of cancer and dementia and whatever else that can come with it.
CB: Or even like molds or things like that that previously the body would just be able to fight off easily suddenly are able to grow and just run amok in the body, which really causes all sorts of problems and sickness.
GL: Yeah. Yeah. And I think they have a good handle on it now, but then, we had no idea what was going on and why. We didn’t even realize it was a retrovirus until 1982. Took them a while to figure that out.
CB: And one of the other things that also shows up sometimes is Kaposi sarcoma or KS, which is like little purple spots or blotches on the skin, right?
GL: Yeah, it’s basically a form of skin cancer. But Kaposi sarcoma was one of the key symptoms. Even though itself it’s a disease, it’s a key symptom of being HIV positive and having AIDS.
CB: Got it. Okay. Let’s see. Going back to our chronology, so when Saturn stations direct on June 5th, 1981, it then starts closing the distance with Pluto and there starts being a number of developments during that time that are really crucial, and different reports that are coming in and different things like that that are happening over the course of the next several months. One of the important ones earlier in 1982, on January 4th, 1982, is Gay Men’s Health Crisis has its first meeting on January 4th, 1982. And this is one of the first or this is the first American AIDS organization and is volunteer-driven. That’s eventually incorporated on June 30th, 1982, but it’s kind of important that it’s formed already there in early 1982.
GL: And they did a masterful job, they really did. All over the country organizing volunteer– I would call them units – volunteer units to go into hospitals and actually help take care of AIDS patients. There was such a fear of the AIDS patients. They were in isolation and you had, you know, almost like COVID at first. And so you had these volunteers even though no one knew what was behind this disease. But they would, they would go in and take care of AIDS patients and do community outreach and basically hand out real information that you otherwise were not going to get from the media or from the government. It just wasn’t going to happen. Not then.
CB: Right. That’s a really important point though and that’s an interesting parallel with COVID, which is in the early days, they didn’t know anything about it and they didn’t know how it was transmitted. And so then as a result of that, you do have a lot of stigma surrounding it and you have a lot of weird attitudes. That’s one of the things during the course of the ’80s that’s a huge tension is then different, especially gay people are being deprived of basic rights for very basic things. Or just people that developed HIV or AIDS were being deprived of basic rights to do things. Like later in the ’80s, one of the legal battles ended up being a young boy that was denied the ability to go to school after he got AIDS through a blood transfusion.
GL: I think that’s Ryan White, the kid’s name is Ryan White. Unfortunately, that was a really common way to react to people with AIDS. Unfortunately, that’s…
CB: This is his birth chart. We actually have a timed birth chart for Ryan White, and he had to have a legal battle to be able to go to school. But Leisa Schaim pointed out to me today actually that he had Aries rising and Saturn was in the third house in his chart, which is kind of interesting because astrologers, especially modern astrologers associate the third house with school and lower forms of education prior to college. And yeah, that literally became one of his major struggles was being forced out of school and having to initiate a legal battle just in order to be able to attend school.
GL: Yeah. Well, and it is in opposition to Neptune in the ninth. There was a lot of legal confusion around his situation. It wasn’t clear at all what was going on, and how and why. It was a travesty that he wasn’t allowed to go to school because obviously, you only contact it through blood and body fluids so that’s a pretty easy thing to avoid. It’s just one of those really sad stories in the early days of the AIDS epidemic.
CB: Yeah, and Saturn would have been transiting through Sagittarius at the time around the time of his legal battles so it’s interesting it was opposing his Saturn in the third, but also going through the ninth house of legal matters. Yeah, and he ended up I think being successful in challenging that but ended up moving to a different part of the country in order to go to school.
GL: Yeah. Yeah, that’s right. And then he… I can’t remember when he died but it was… I think it was around 1990 or early ’91, maybe. I can’t remember.
CB: Yeah, it was 1990, I believe is when he died. He died April 8th, 1990.
GL: Yeah, that sounds right.
CB: Yeah. And his formal request to be readmitted to school was denied June 30th of 1985 and then he went through all sorts of legal battles subsequent to that. That’s just one example of one story. But going back to 1981-1982, we have the foundation of the first organization. By May, there was this whole Mars retrograde. Let me bring up the chart and show that because in the early part of things, it seems like Libra’s playing a major role in the charts. And what we’ll see in early ’81 is that when Saturn was inching closer to Pluto by the time we get into ’82, and basically the end of the first year of this or the beginning of the second year of the pandemic, is Mars went into Libra and then also went retrograde in that sign in that year. So you ended up with this really extended period of a Mars, Saturn, Pluto conjunction. That’s really interesting because one, traditionally in ancient astrology, before they had the outer planets it was Mars-Saturn conjunctions were the alignment that was associated with plagues and pandemics and things like that. It also means that the parallel with this time period in our time, especially once Mars actually caught up to and conjoined Saturn and Pluto in mid-1982, that the parallel would be March-April of 2020, which is when Mars came up and conjoined Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn and Aquarius right there in the very beginning and during the very height of the COVID lockdowns and everything else.
So if you pull up a timeline to see what’s going on during this period, we get this whole string of stuff where it’s fully recognized at this time. For example May 11th, The New York Times publishes the first mention of the term quote-unquote “gay-related immune deficiency” which some researchers at that point are using to describe the new epidemic, and the term will deepen the public perception that AIDS only affects gay men is what the hiv.org timeline says. Additionally, May 31st, the Los Angeles Times publishes the first front-page story on AIDS in the mainstream press titled “Mysterious Fever Now an Epidemic”. June 18th, the CDC publishes an article, “A Cluster of Kaposi’s Sarcoma and Pneumonia among Homosexual Men Residents of Los Angeles and Orange County Communities”, and it makes the first connection between a potentially sexually transmitted agent and the outbreak of chaos and other opportunistic infections among gay men. What’s interesting about this is this story on June 18th is right on another Saturn station again. There it is. We see Saturn stationing at 15 Libra on the same day and this is the first time that they’re starting to make these connections at least in some of the medical and other literature in still trying to figure out what this is and how it’s happening and what’s going on. We’re seeing this happen again at another Saturn station where it’s going to start closing the distance with Pluto, but now we see Mars there at the same time and it’s intensifying and things are getting worse and it’s starting to grow exponentially.
GL: Also, mid-June is when the NIH, the National Institutes of Health, came out and said that they were going to have… They didn’t even have a name for the disease at this point, right? It wasn’t until July 27th of 1982, the NIH– and they scheduled this meeting in mid-June to occur on July 27th where they were going to hash this out. They had a number of potential candidates for the disease, to name the disease, but ultimately it became AIDS on July 27th of 1982, sometime mid-afternoon.
CB: So that’s crucial. I know Christopher Renstrom at the first Queer Astrology Conference gave a talk on the Saturn return of AIDS, which at the time back during the conference was when Saturn had returned to Libra in the early 2010s. But I know he talked about researching this and getting a time for that chart of when that meeting took place.
GL: He came up with 2:00 pm. Yeah.
CB: 2:00 pm?
GL: Right. Well, the meeting had started much earlier in the day, but they had broken for lunch and they came back. I went looking after… I remember that. I was there for Chris’s lecture and I took note that, “Okay, 2:00 pm, I want to go check that.” They came back from lunch and started the afternoon session at 1:45. So 2:00 seems to be an appropriate time for that from everything that I found. From 1:55 until about 2:35, there was something going on with the name. Whether they started at 2:00 pm or 1:55 pm or 2:00 pm, it looks like the entire process of the naming piece of that meeting didn’t end until a little bit after 2:30. That’s what I came up… I couldn’t find any specific details with it, this is based on commentary that I heard reported in news and different places. And the National Institutes of Health actually had a… They put out a journal and I know it was in there. They didn’t give a time, but they did say mid-afternoon. Okay? But in my research, Chris had it right in my opinion that about that 2:00 pm hour is when they came up with the name of AIDS.
CB: Okay. Yeah, and people can read this article of Christopher’s. It’s actually a published book at this point. It’s titled Queer Astrology: Presentations From The Queer Astrology Conference, San Francisco, July 2013. Edited by Ian Waisler and Rhea Wolf. And the title of his article is “The Saturn Return of AIDS” and it’s a really great article where he uses this chart and expands on it and talks about its relevance more. But here’s roughly the alignment and we can just see that Mars-Saturn-Pluto conjunction pretty close at that point where Saturn is at 16 Libra, Pluto’s at 24 Libra, and Mars is at 26 Libra. So AIDS had finally been named at that point. And even earlier just back to that period when Saturn was stationing on June 27th, a gay activist group in San Francisco published the first pamphlet on safer sex and distributed 16,000 copies at the International Lesbian and Gay Freedom Day Parade. So there were starting to be those discussions about safe sex and how to deal with this and raising awareness about how to protect yourself and be safe.
Then on July 16th, the first report of immunosuppression in patients with hemophilia who have no other known risk factors for AIDS comes out. And there’s two or three patients that are profiled in the report had already died by the time of publication. So at this time during that summer when the Mars-Saturn-Pluto conjunction is happening in Libra, also basically the medical establishment is starting to realize that it’s also affecting hemophilia patients. And they’re realizing not only that, but also that it could be sexually transmitted all around this time. This is really crucial because they’re really starting to figure out and also name what this is around the time of the Mars-Saturn-Pluto conjunction, and that’s almost the exact parallel for the March-April timeframe with the COVID pandemic when Mars, Saturn, and Pluto are lining up in Capricorn and Aquarius at the same time and they’re very quickly figuring out that it’s an airborne illness that’s being transmitted through the air.
GL: Yeah, I can remember it so clearly. “How is this thing transmitted?” It was a constant conversation and a concern. “Is it airborne? Is it… What is this? Is it a sexual disease? What is it?” No one knew, you know?
CB: In the early 1980s, you mean?
GL: Yeah, no one knew. In ’81 and ’82, no one knew. It was in 1982 that I first… It was really after the NIH thing and calling it AIDS when I first started reading about how it was transmitted and first had an understanding of how it was transmitted. And of course, then that immediately changed my sexual behavior.
CB: When was that again? Sorry, can you say that again?
GL: Yeah. And…
CB: You were in Seattle at this point?
GL: Yeah, I was in Seattle.
GL: The Saturn-Pluto conjunction, of course, hits right near my seventh house cusp at the end of Libra in ’82. And I made the decision that I was going to have to… People knew that I was gay, but not professionally, not at work, and not within the astrological community. So right after that conjunction as both planets moved into Scorpio and across my Moon in Mars, I started coming out within the astrological community in 1983. Also, at that time I was teaching high school as well and I started coming out at work as well. So that was a huge push for me personally.
CB: You wrote in your article that you and your friend made a conscious decision to do that because you thought it was important to raise awareness at that time because of what was going on.
GL: That actually happened later. I started coming out, but like I said, I didn’t get a positive response in the astrological community. But I didn’t shy away from telling people. But it really wasn’t until Bruce Hammerslough in late ’80s. And I think it might have been ’87, ’88 somewhere in there where he actually announced it at NORWAC, if I remember right. It was NORWAC when he stood up and said, “I’m HIV positive and I have AIDS.” Of course, Richard Idemon’s suicide because he was HIV positive, that really struck home. And that was also… Gosh, I don’t remember when that was. The late ’80s, I believe. That really hit people hard. And I think that’s when people started finally listening and being gay within the astrological community suddenly it wasn’t such a bad thing and people started listening to us, you know? And there was some empathy.
CB: Looks like the date, according to Astro-Databank, was that Richard Idemon found out that he had AIDS in June of ’85 and that he passed away in February of 1987.
CB: Okay, so that’s right in the thick of it. And you said that because he was a major psychological astrologer and a very influential psychological astrologer, you said that- [crosstalk]
GL: And a brilliant teacher. He was a brilliant astrological teacher, too. I mean, that was his forte. He had a tremendous charisma and presence in front of people and he could teach astrology like no one else, as far as I was concerned back then. And so his loss hit the community extremely hard in ’87.
CB: Yeah. I’m trying to think of a parallel without naming names, but just in order to convey the enormity of that or what that would be like to contemporary astrologers is just like, you know, pick out your 10 most influential or favorite teachers or astrologers that you know of today that are hugely influential due to their books or their podcasts or YouTube channels or what have you, and then just take three or four of them and say that they pass away and they’re no longer there all of a sudden, to sort of convey what that would be like to lose those voices very suddenly.
GL: Yeah, and that’s really what it was like, it was just shocking. There was an emptiness; there was a void as our gay astrologers started leaving, you know? But like I said, I think the Richard Idemon case was one that really hit home within the community because he was such a standout superstar at the time. In a way, it was sort of like the Rock Hudson thing in terms of the nation’s reaction to Rock Hudson dying. For the astrological community, Richard Idemon doing that, I mean, dying like that because he was HIV positive… It was a shocking thing.
CB: Yeah. Rock Hudson, he was a famous actor and he was one of the first actors to come out and be very public that he had AIDS.
GL: Right. And most of the public didn’t know that he was even gay, although anyone in the gay community knew he was gay and had known for decades. It was not a secret in Hollywood that Rock Hudson was gay and we knew who his boyfriends were. I mean, he lived with Randolph Scott for a very long time. But the public, it’s so funny because you can hide, quote-unquote “hide” right out in public and people don’t even know what it is they’re looking at. That was the case with Rock Hudson. The public just didn’t really understand what they were looking at because he was such a macho kind of guy, you know? Hypermasculine and extremely handsome. But that was a lesson for the country in terms of, you know, the orientation of homosexuality has nothing to do with whether you’re a cisgendered person or femme person or anything like that. It doesn’t signify necessarily.
CB: Right. So here’s Rock Hudson’s chart because we have a time chart. It’s November 17th, 1925 at 12:15 am in Winnetka, Illinois.
GL: Right, Winnetka.
CB: Winnetka. Okay, thanks. Yeah, so I don’t necessarily have anything to mention but he made that announcement in 1985 so it’s like a few years into it, but that’s still very early on and he was one of the first actors like that. So it’s like that was both surprising to the public, both in that he was coming out as gay and then also saying that he had AIDS at the same time. But that was something that more and more celebrities over the course of the next decade were pushed to do and felt a need to do.
GL: Initially pushed to do. And that had a lot to do with ACT UP. It became clear to most people in the gay community that silence did equal death. If you were not going to come out, if you are not going to let people know and you’re going to hide this, you’re going to end up dying as a result. And you’re going to end up killing other people. If you’re going to keep this to yourself and there’s the shame with it and there’s the whole burden of it and you’re not going to let anybody know, that psychologically just creates bad behavior and we saw that. And so being silent was not an option after 1987. Okay? It was a matter of pushing people to come out. So they actually created the National Coming Out Day and trying to get gay people to come out no matter where they were and take the risk. And it was effective because suddenly, the whole country realized, “Oh, my gosh, my butcher is gay. This guy over here is gay. This woman over here is a lesbian. My son’s teacher is gay…” It just became like, “Wow, there are gay people everywhere!” Of course, there always have been, but circumstances being the way they were, you couldn’t come out. Not without risking persecution, prosecution, incarceration, and even being castrated for so many years.
CB: Right. The famous… Like Alan Turing, for example, in the 1950s was a famous example of a gay man who had done a lot to help them break the Nazi codes like German codes during the war effort in World War Two. But then afterwards because he was found to be a gay man, they ended up chemically castrating him.
GL: Right, exactly. And they were doing that in the United States going back to… The first state to do that was the state of Oregon in 1917. They passed this draconian law that “10 years in prison and sterilization,” they called it. Okay? However, that was going to be done. By 1923, every single state, all 48 states in the United States had very similar laws on the books. And then also there were– the FBI, their vice squads infiltrated gay communities all across the country and shut them down and arrested people and closed down businesses. There used to be, prior to 1917, there were gay neighborhoods and gay businesses and they were quite out in the open. Here in Portland, we had, my gosh, there were three exclusively gay hotels. There were nightclubs and bars and everything. And that all got shut down after 1917. And it was like that all the way across the country. That created the closet, the very idea that you’re at risk of going to prison for 10 years and being sterilized. You’re not coming out. You’re not going to live that open life anymore.
CB: Right. You actually risk real, serious, legal, and financial, and also just personal danger if you do. So there’s a real legitimate fear and reason not to or reason to keep it private.
GL: Yeah, exactly. But then that also created the circumstance for something like AIDS to take hold within that insulated community. Right? Because it was very incestuous in so many ways. Everybody had friends with benefits and that became sort of a petri dish for the AIDS virus, you know, for the HIV. Because once it hit, then because it was that insulated you didn’t move outside of that not without risking imprisonment and sterilization, you stayed within it. So it was a perfect opportunistic disease to hit that kind of insulated subgroup within the country. But that was created by the country itself. They didn’t have to do that. They didn’t have to create this horrendous closet for gay people like they did starting in 1970.
CB: Right. Yeah, and if you can’t even… For example in the instance you mentioned of the astrologer at one point where he had to use code words in order to see if you were also gay like he was, if you can’t even use open language to talk about your orientation then much less be able to talk about, I don’t know, talking about what’s going on or practicing safe sex or other things like that.
GL: Yeah. Its all part and parcel of the same cultural phenomenon. Once you’re closeted and threatened with 10 years imprisonment and sterilization, that takes a psychological toll and you get self-protective. As a result, you had sort of gay ghettos that developed in American cities all across the country. In Seattle, it was the west side of Capitol Hill. In Chicago, it was the Boystown. Philadelphia, it was the Gayborhood. You had these gay enclaves and the only people who lived there were gay men. That’s why the HIV and the AIDS epidemic was able to take hold so quickly and spread so quickly. It’s because they were in those insulated communities. They lived their lives there, they worked there, they socialized there, they lived there, everything was in there. You didn’t go outside beyond, you know? Before Stonewall, you simply didn’t get out there in public and put yourself out there that way.
CB: All right, so let’s go back to our chronology. We mentioned when the name was first established in that private meeting and that was the chart that Christopher Renstrom uses. Then that group, though, eventually for the first time uses the name AIDS publicly in a publication on September 24th, 1982. Mercury had just gone retrograde just five days earlier in Libra conjunct Saturn and Pluto. Saturn at 22 Libra and Pluto at 25 Libra. Yeah, so it just keeps activating those. If I animate it actually, if I back it up you can see that station just four or five days earlier. Oh, wow, actually, it was right- The Moon was swooped right there.
CB: So Saturn’s within three degrees at this point and then after that, one of the things that’s actually really important is September 28th around this time, as Saturn and Pluto are growing closer together, there were two representatives that it says in the chronology joined together to introduce the first legislation to allocate funding for AIDS research, but the resolution died in committee and Congress will not approve the first dedicated funding for AIDS research and treatment until July of 1983. So this is really important because one of the things I noted that this is near, this first attempt at getting funding in Congress happened near the first conjunction of Saturn and Pluto. But what happens is there’s a retrograde and that conjunction comes back closer to June, and it’s at that point that the funding is actually eventually approved.
GL: But it was minimal. It didn’t do anything, to be honest. Congress was acting, but the Republicans… The amount of money that was asked for they didn’t get, they only got a fraction of it. They did get some, the first of congressional action to put money into the research, but it was woefully less than what they needed to do anything.
CB: Right, and to stem the tide of this thing that was just growing and growing exponentially. Let’s see. Later, November… Time jump here, I just want to make sure my chronology is right. So Saturn goes into Scorpio. We’re still in ’82 at this point but now we’re starting to get into ’83. One of the things that happens, and this is near the first conjunction, let me animate the chart to show that. Okay, we see Saturn towards late ’82 getting all the way up and then eventually conjoining Pluto here. Looks like on November 7th-November 8th, 1982 we get that exact Saturn-Pluto conjunction. So this becomes the sort of centerpoint of everything at that point. Sorry. “‘CDC’s Current Trends Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome: Precautions for Clinical Staff and Laboratory Staff’ lays out the first set of precautions for clinical and laboratory staff working with people exhibiting signs of AIDS. In December, there’s a paper published that notes a 20-month-old infant who required multiple blood transfusions at birth who’s developed unexplained cellular immunodeficiency and opportunistic infections. Donor tracing reveals that one of the baby’s blood donors died of AIDS in August.” So with this story and the next one, they basically start realizing that it’s infecting infants around this time. “December 7th of ’82, reports of AIDS hinting at transmission via pregnancy. There’s 22 cases of unexplained immunodeficiency and opportunistic infections in infants.” So this is all around the time of the first conjunction.
And then finally in January 7th of ’83 now, they report the first cases of AIDS in women. This one’s really important on January 7th, and let me pull up the chart for that because I believe this is where there is a station. There it is. This was one of the first Mercury stations that I noticed where you’ll notice that Mercury is moving direct and then it stations retrograde on this day on January 7th, 1983 and Venus comes up and exactly conjoins it. So you get this really striking alignment and, on the other side, Venus and Mercury are conjoining at two degrees of Aquarius and they’re squaring Saturn at three degrees of Scorpio, which is still very closely conjunct Pluto at 29 degrees of Libra. What happens at this point is the first reported cases of AIDS in women are published basically by the CDC in January 7th and they start realizing that this is not something that’s just restricted to gay men, but they instead right around the same time they’re basically realising that it’s affecting people with blood transfusions as well as women as well.
GL: Yeah. Yeah, right around the time of the conjunction is when they finally realized that it was essentially blood-borne and body fluid. That’s where the transmission occurred, so anyone was at risk. Male, female, child, it doesn’t matter. Adult, it doesn’t matter. Anyone can be exposed to this and come down with HIV and AIDS. It wasn’t just a gay disease. And it goes back to what I was saying earlier that it hit the gay community first and exploded there because we were an insulated group and our sexual behavior centered within that community. Like I said, we all had friends with benefits. That helped it spread but because they were only looking at that and they weren’t looking outside of those communities, they were missing a very important piece. Until we get really close to it, like in November, we get really close in that conjunction but you get the exact conjunction on 7th. And then we are seeing, “Oh, wait a minute. We’ve got infants, we’ve got little babies being born that are HIV positive. How is that? How does that happen?” And then we find out in January that in fact, women are also HIV positive. So then that changes. That changes everything, it changes everybody’s perspective within the medical community, at least. I mean, it still took American society many years to get over the prejudice of AIDS and HIV being a gay disease. It took a lot more time and many more deaths of women and children for American society to understand, “Wow, it’s not a gay disease.”
CB: Yeah, there’s something really important that happened around this time that I think is really illustrative for astrologers, which is it really made me think of this exact conjunction and when it started around the time of the exact conjunctions between Saturn and Pluto, it came into sight with the public like what this actually was and what they were dealing with. Because it reminded me how in ancient astrology, the term aspect originally meant to see something and it had to do with ancient optical theories about when something was directly in front of your line of vision and you were looking right at it, that’s what an exact aspect is like. But when something’s just off to the side or just sort of in your peripheral vision, that’s what an aspect that’s just barely an orb or a sign-based aspect is like. It’s something that’s in your peripheral vision but you don’t have your exact focus on that exact thing. But one of the things we kind of see with this is that as soon as that aspect between Saturn and Pluto, once they come into the same sign and it started becoming an orb in 1981, you start getting the first inklings where humanity collectively starts to see this in their peripheral vision. But it’s not until around the time of the exact conjunctions in ’82 and ’83 that it’s fully recognized with clarity what this is and how to start dealing with it. There’s something really interesting there that’s really illustrative for astrologers about how aspects work.
GL: Yes. Particularly when we’re dealing with mundane social events like this. I mean, I hate that word mundane because it means worldly, but it has this other connotation of being boring and not interesting. But the reality is that any disease, any pandemic is actually a crisis and event within the world and that people have to deal with. And so the aspect that is two planets seeing each other or even we as people looking out at the two planets and seeing them in an exact mathematical relationship, I agree with you 100%, it does expand our awareness about what’s going on with those two planets. Even if we aren’t savvy to or privy to astrology and what those planets supposedly mean, we see it in our everyday lives the way it works. And so, yes, the science was proving that this was not a gay disease and that becomes clear with the conjunction and in the year following the exact conjunction.
CB: Yeah, let’s actually get to that now. But that’s just crazy to me, or that’s so fascinating to me that it has to do with awareness. That humanity’s awareness of something comes into focus at this time of something really bad that’s killing a lot of people and there are increasing levels of people dying, but it seems like what it’s describing or what the alignment is describing at that time is also both that the pandemic is being fully unleashed, but also that we’re becoming aware of it and it’s being named in some sense.
GL: Right, it’s being named and beginning to be understood. And so when we watch then, after the conjunction as Saturn moves forward and goes into these relationships for these, let’s say aspects, as it moves forward aspects to Pluto and also aspects to the degree of the conjunction, that we start seeing that awareness increase. There’s always more and more awareness as Saturn moves further away from Pluto.
CB: Right. So here’s January that we’re just talking about of ’83. Saturn’s at three Scorpio, Pluto’s at 29 Libra, and I’m going to move the chart forward in time and eventually, we see Saturn station retrograde in Scorpio around February 12th. And then it starts moving backwards towards Pluto again over the next several months, eventually making a retrograde ingress back into Libra here around May of 1983. So May of 1983, and then eventually we see Saturn slow down and it stations within one degree of Pluto on this date about July 1st, 1983. This is the second time that they’ll get the closest they’ll ever get to an exact aspect on July 1st of 1983. So aside from that exact conjunction in late ’82, this is the other closest conjunction that Saturn and Pluto will ever have, at least in that cycle of the Saturn-Pluto conjunctions. And this really interesting string of events happens around that time. One of them is that in May, two men living with AIDS published a booklet on safer sex titled How to Have Sex in an Epidemic: One Approach. It advocates condom use for gay men and focuses on self-empowerment for those living with AIDS. Then around this time on May 18th, the US Congress passes the first bill that includes funding specifically targeted for AIDS research and treatment, which is only 12 million for agencies within the US Department of Health and Human Services, which was just pitifully low but that is the first time that the government starts allocating funds.
GL: Yeah, and that’s what I’m saying. When that happened, everybody in the gay community said, “Are you kidding? That’s a joke! Come on, we’re dying here and you put $12 million into it?” It was obscene. [laughs]
CB: Yeah, because what it ends up needing later in time is just billions and billions of dollars in order to fund the research and the drugs and the other things that would eventually lead to progress in fighting this, but this was just like a drop in the bucket at the beginning. So that happens. Next, on May 20th, there’s a researcher, Dr. Françoise Barré and her colleague at the Pasteur Institute in France report the discovery of a retrovirus that could be the cause of AIDS. In 2008, she’ll share the Nobel Prize in Medicine for this discovery with her colleague, Dr. Luc Montagnier. So this is when they discovered that it was a retrovirus was around the time of the second conjunction, basically. [crosstalk]
GL: Yeah, in ’83.
CB: Yeah, in ’83. So they discover what it is. Then on May 25th, the New York Times publishes the first front-page story on AIDS with the title “Health Chief Calls AIDS Battle Number One Priority”. This article reports on the federal responses to the growing AIDS epidemic. By the time it’s published, 1,450 cases of AIDS have been reported and 558 of those individuals have died. This report is actually really interesting and important because on May 25th the day this came out, Mercury actually stationed direct. So it’s like the New York Times finally does a cover story on this and again, it’s this weird thing that has to do with awareness but it’s like Mercury stations direct on that day in Taurus and finally on the New York Times, one of the epicenters for what’s happening, there’s a front-page report on it.
CB: All right, so other things that are happening during that time. The other one I wanted to mention is July 4th, 1983 and this is just three days after that Saturn station within a degree of Pluto is the first Time magazine cover about AIDS. And Time magazine was one of the biggest magazines like print magazines at the time, so this was pretty huge having it cover it with a front-page story.
GL: Yeah, I remember that, July 4th and July 5th of 1983. I remember it because it was a very important time for me personally. And when that came out on the cover of Time Magazine, it was like, “Okay, now people, hopefully, people are going to start paying attention. I mean, real attention.” And there was a hope– I know I talked to other gay men at the time, and there was a hope that this would create the awareness needed in Congress, particularly, to get real funding. Of course, that did not happen, but that was the hope and that was what we were all focused on at the time. But that’s when I… July 5th is… July 4th. Yeah, I remember I said I was changing my behavior and so the first sort of real long-term boyfriend happened on July 5th of 1983 for me. Of course, like I said, 28-29 degrees of Libra is my seventh house cusp, and so that Saturn-Pluto conjunction moving across that changed everything and changed-
CB: That’s wild that was your first boyfriend and it was happening in at least your seventh whole sign house, so your Aries rising. So yeah, and that Saturn station was right there in your seventh. That’s pretty. Yeah, you have very then striking, or not just striking but vivid memories of that exact time period.
GL: Yeah, absolutely.
CB: Okay. Wow. Okay, so Saturn’s stationing. And so there was a real hope that it was finally starting to get out there in the mainstream press and that that somebody would start doing something about it.
GL: Yep, that was the hope. Of course, we were very disappointed that it didn’t really happen that way. It didn’t happen that way at all. [crosstalk] Yeah, go ahead.
CB: Just one more thing. A month later on August 8th, 1983, Bobby Campbell and Bobby Hilliard appeared on the cover of Newsweek story, which was titled Gay America: Sex, Politics, and the Impact of AIDS, where the first time two gay men were shown embracing on the cover of a mainstream national magazine also happened basically just a month later around that time. So there’s this continued interlinking of these things.
GL: Yeah. And to be honest, that was also a feeling that because we were being identified as gay America, we weren’t being hidden anymore by the mainstream media. It was like everybody would… I mean, it was like coming out, so to speak, to have that on the front cover. It was like saying, “Well, America’s going to start seeing us.” It became important and that’s why I was saying it was around that time sort of meeting my first real relationship boyfriend and having all of this come out as we were dealing with AIDS. We were dealing with this horrendous epidemic that we knew was only going to get worse and yet there was this optimism that we are finally visible, that we don’t have to be in the closet anymore. It’s on Newsweek, right on the cover of Newsweek. Psychologically, it was very uplifting.
CB: Wow, I just realized something. Well, two things. One, I’m looking at the chart for that Newsweek cover, August 8th, 1983. Here’s the chart. And one, it’s just so striking the cover story and the way it’s titled. It’s Gay America: Sex, Politics, and the Impact of AIDS and just the interlinking of those two things. And we just see the focal point being that Saturn-Pluto conjunction in the sign of Libra, and just the intertwining of relationships and sexual orientation, but also in the midst of this really terrible epidemic that’s focused on or has put the focus on the gay community or is affecting it heavily at that time. But something I just noticed is Venus is retrograde in Virgo right here. This is in 1983 and it just stationed retrograde at the beginning of August on August 2nd, 1983. But then it would retrograde… This was part of the series when Venus was still starting its retrograde in Virgo but then falling back into Libra.
GL: Into Leo. Yeah.
CB: Sorry. Yeah, into Leo. Thank you. So it would station direct in Leo on September 16th, 1983. [crosstalk] That means this was the same Venus retrograde, the same series that occurs in eight-year increments that would later… The Venus retrograde that would happen that summer that I mentioned at the beginning of this episode, the summer of 2015 when Venus went retrograde in Virgo and Leo, the summer that same-sex marriage was legalized. So it’s the same Venus retrograde, that’s incredible. I never had made that connection by going back that far to that first Newsweek cover to see that it went back, that basically gay rights were tied into that Venus retrograde for even longer than I realized.
GL: I remember seeing that, but it kind of just went out of my mind until you just brought it back and suddenly, yeah, that’s absolutely right. Because I was watching carefully the Supreme Court arguments and all of that sort of thing in 2015 related to same-sex marriage and I noted the Venus retrograde in Virgo going back into Leo. But I didn’t, at the time, I didn’t… Until just now, I didn’t make that connection either to the other one.
CB: Yeah, it’s not like something you would immediately assume would be connected with that inherently in some way. It doesn’t stand out, it’s only by paying attention to the events that it coincides with in those eight-year intervals that you realize there’s a pattern or connection of some sort.
GL: Right, sometimes it takes a little step back and some historical perspective to see it. Right in the middle of it, you don’t think back that far.
CB: Yeah. Well, and that’s kind of the issue with all of these things is that sometimes things happen– You’ll see an astrological thing happening at the time but you don’t fully understand what it’s correlating with or what the importance is at the time, and it’s only later by looking back in retrospect once you have a broader view that you fully understand the significance of all those alignments at the time.
GL: Yeah, and realizing that they are part of larger cycles, not just the alignments. Right? That there is a cyclical pattern to all of these things. It’s brilliant that you were able to just see that right now because like I said, I had not noticed it even though I was watching all of that very carefully at the time and wrote about it. I missed that it was the same Venus retrograde pattern.
CB: Yeah. Well, it’s something that’s happening this summer and I keep thinking about and I’ve been puzzling about it a lot lately because I was curious in what way – since I knew the same-sex Supreme Court decision happened in 2015 under that Venus retrograde – how that would come up again this summer. And it just seemed like it was weird because it seemed like it has been coming up again recently, but in a reversal sense where there’s been more pushback against LGBT things recently, like with the recent Supreme Court decision about the website thing and other things like that, so that there was a connection but it’s been this weird connection that’s not necessarily positive in this instance.
GL: I would agree with you. Yeah, that’s true. There’s another pattern that’s involved here and I’ve mentioned it to you in the document that you had me edit. And that is this does deal with sexual orientation generally, and pretty much that is the larger conceptual umbrella that we’re dealing with here when we’re talking about, in this case, the AIDS epidemic. But ultimately this falls under this umbrella of sexual orientation and if we go back to the first time the word homosexual was coined and actually used, which was on the evening of May 6th of 1868, that to me is the beginning of the modern concept of sexual orientation. It happened to be there was a Full Moon that night at 16 degrees of Scorpio opposing Pluto at 15 degrees of Taurus. Now, I don’t know if you’ve been watching but a lot of these charts you’re putting up have the mid degrees of fixed signs, whether Leo-Aquarius or Taurus and Scorpio. They fit right in there. And the Sun-Pluto conjunction in 1868 on that evening opposing the Moon is something that repeats constantly over and over in these charts that deal specifically with homosexuality. It’s uncanny.
CB: What was the date on that again?
GL: May 6th, 1868 and there’s a Full Moon in Scorpio that night. Now, Kertbeny was writing from Hannover, Germany, so that would be… And it was local meantime.
CB: Here it is. So it’s a Full Moon at 16 Scorpio opposite the Sun at 16 Taurus which is conjunct Pluto at 15 Taurus.
GL: Yeah. But it also had… The actual Full Moon had 15 degrees Scorpio rising, as well. It was right on the horizon, the Full Moon was right on the horizon, later that evening. And that’s when Kertbeny was writing his letter to Karl Ulrichs explaining why he didn’t like Ulrichs’ formulation of a Uranian to identify a gay man. And he said we should be calling same-sex couples homosexuals, homosexuality, as opposed to heterosexuality. So that’s the first modern conception and we’ve used that term ever since. Okay? That’s the first modern conceptualization of sexual orientation; the very idea that there is even a sexual orientation. That’s the first time it’s actually put into words. And if you watch that chart over time, it’s really quite stunning transits to it as well as even progressing it.
CB: Would you give me the data again, because I had it just set for Washington, DC, but let me get…
GL: Oh, yeah. Let me see if I can pull it up. Let me see if I got it here.
CB: What was the city?
GL: Hannover, Germany.
CB: Let’s see. So, yeah. If I cast it for 7:00 pm, you get the Moon on the Ascendant. The Full Moon is almost exactly like 16 Scorpio.
GL: Yeah, it’s 7:16 pm Local Mean Time in Hannover. And it’s got 14 Scorpio on the Ascendant, Pluto at 15 Taurus, Sun at 16 Taurus. I fall back on that chart a lot and watch how it works, and you will find… I mean, all the decisions Lawrence v. Texas, the Obergefell case with same-sex marriage, there’s this incredible consistent pattern of mid-fixed degrees that are really important in these issues that relate to sexuality.
CB: Okay, got it. Yeah, I was just looking at that station for that New York Times article, but the direct station was at 16 Taurus.
GL: It’s fascinating how that works.
CB: Right. And that was when the New York Times published its first front-page story on AIDS, basically. Okay, that’s really cool. All right, we’re back and I want to follow up on the Venus retrograde thing so I actually take that back because I don’t think– I was thinking about that more and we talked about it in the last forecast about this Venus retrograde, and I said earlier just a little bit ago that I didn’t understand why this Venus retrograde, this particular one, would be tied in with same-sex marriage or other things like that. I actually do think it makes sense in a way, and we talked about this in the last forecast because it’s a Venus retrograde in Leo, and one of the things that Leo is really good at from a psychological perspective is being authentic to yourself and self-authenticity and being who you are. And I think there may be something about that, if it’s not just tied in with the synodic cycle itself through a series of repetitions, independent of the signs of the zodiac, if it is tied in with the signs of the zodiac perhaps it’s due to that connection with Leo and something about self-authenticity, which really is a lot about what coming out is, it’s the ability to be authentic publicly with the world rather than just privately to yourself.
GL: Right, I would agree. Especially Venus in Leo, because there is an evaluation of that authenticity and that self-promotion. So, that would make sense to me. Yeah.
CB: Sure. Yeah, maybe that could be it. But this might be a good reason for other people to go back and research this Venus synodic cycle because I’m sure there’s other ones that we’re overlooking like earlier in that series that could be really interesting. So if anybody finds any other ones, I hope they let us know in the comments.
Okay, back to the chronology. So later in November of 1983… Let me see where Saturn and Pluto are just to get… Because we start going from this point, we’re pretty soon heading into the full Saturn in Scorpio and eventually Pluto in Scorpio territory where Saturn departs from Libra and moves into Scorpio in August and September of 1983 and eventually, Pluto follows suit and also moves into Scorpio in November of 1983. So at this point, November 22nd through the 25th, 1983, the World Health Organisation convenes the first meeting to assess the worldwide AIDS situation and to encourage collaboration between different affected countries. This is pretty important where it starts becoming a global issue that the world is starting to pay attention to instead of just an issue that the US is paying attention to.
GL: I would say yes, the United States had a problem. They really weren’t even cooperating with the French all that much. Even with what we brought up earlier regarding the retrovirus discovery in France, there was still a lot of controversy over that here. There are a lot of medical people that were saying, “No, it’s not a retrovirus. No, it’s not this. No, it’s not that.” So for the World Health Organisation to actually come together and create a situation where countries are going to cooperate with each other knowing that this was going to be a global pandemic was extremely important, I think. And it sort of pushes the United States in the right direction because obviously they’re members of the World Health Organisation, the United States, isn’t it? The US had a presence there as well. So the political situation in the United States just dragged its feet so much in spite of what the medical community was doing and trying to do. Yeah, it was extremely important to have that WHO gathering, but it didn’t translate into political action in the United States on the part of government. And the medical community, the CDC, the NIH, all of those agencies were working hard on it, as hard as they could with the limited resources they had. And of course, they are, in fact, funded by the political machinery. And unlike the rest of the world like in places like France particularly, the government got behind that research very quickly and initially a lot of the real progress that was being made was coming out of France. So, having this World Health Organisation come together and indicate there was a need for global cooperation in response, I think was really helpful for the US politicians to hear.
CB: Yeah, that makes sense. I’m just looking at 1984. The big thing in 1984 was April 23rd, “the US Department of Health and Human Services secretary announces that Dr. Robert Gallo and his colleagues at the National Institute have found the cause of AIDS, which is a retrovirus that they’ve labeled HTLV-3. They also announced the development of a diagnostic blood test to identify it and expressed hope for a vaccine against AIDS at some point,” which they say was in the next two years they were hoping but obviously did not play out that way.
GL: No, there’s still no vaccine. Even after all these years, they’ve never been able to come up with a vaccine. There is a medical regimen, you know, pharmaceutical regimen that can render you basically HIV negative. Even if you are positive, you aren’t going to show it. You’re not going to show. You can’t transmit the disease because it’s not evident. Okay? But it’s not actually a vaccine.
CB: Okay. All right. So moving, we eventually get into ’85. March of ’85, the FDA approves a test. There’s the first commercially available test for detecting HIV in blood, and blood banks begin screening after this, which is a pretty crucial step in terms of all of this and in terms of identifying things. Right. Okay. So Saturn’s at late Scorpio, we’re dealing with the tail end of Saturn in Scorpio and Pluto at the beginning of Scorpio. This period is the final period of fully defining what this is and identifying it and laying the foundation for a lot of the work that’s done later. Not long after that in ’85, Larry Kramer’s play The Normal Heart premieres and is really successful. I believe are you familiar with his work.
GL: Yeah, I actually just saw the film version of it last week. [chuckles]
GL: Again, I had seen it a number of times before but I watched it two weeks ago.
CB: Got it. So focus is on the rise of HIV and AIDS in New York between 1981 and 1984. And then in November of ’85, An Early Frost, the first TV movie dealing with AIDS and gay relationships was broadcast. That’s pretty crucial. In June of ’85, we have Ryan White’s formal request to be readmitted to school, which is denied, that we talked about earlier. And also that summer, Rock Hudson is the first major public figure who announces that he has AIDS.
GL: Right, and he went to France for treatment. For whatever reason, at that point in time, I think most people believed that the French were further along than we were in treating the disease and so they put him on a plane and he went to France for treatment.
CB: Okay, so this is in July and this is the tail end of Saturn and Scorpio. And then this kind of important event eventually starts happening right at the very tail end before Saturn departs from Scorpio, which is September 17th, 1985, Reagan finally mentions AIDS publicly in a press conference and calls it a top priority and defends his administration’s response. Then shortly after that in October 2nd, 1985, Congress allocates nearly $190 million for AIDS research. Yeah, and these two things happen basically right before Saturn leaves Scorpio in mid-November of ’85.
GL: Yes. And like I said, that was the first time that we heard from the Reagan administration. He’d never once mentioned it in four years. So we heard it for the first time and everybody was, of course, extremely happy. He was putting $190 million. That’s still a drop in the bucket compared to what other countries were putting in, but it was an important step forward.
CB: Yeah, because this is four years into it at this point and now the head of the government is finally mentioning it at least and starting to allocate funds. One of the shifts that happens, in late ’85, is that Saturn goes into Sagittarius, and one of the things that I thought was notable is that by the end of the year, by December 19th, the United Nations states that at least one HIV case has been reported from each region of the world. So it’s like Saturn is now in Sagittarius and the epidemic is fully international at this point. And also at this point, it seems like over the next few years during the course of Saturn in Sagittarius, a lot of international efforts surrounding AIDS really ramp up at this time.
GL: Yeah, they do. But it also… The death toll mounts internationally. Yes, initially it was just in the United States and then it was in Europe and then it hit Africa and Asia and it really… Once Saturn into Sagittarius, the deaths really started mounting globally. Because there was still no treatment for it.
CB: Right. I found some different graphs but here’s one of them, for example, that just shows the numbers in the early 1980s and just how it just shoots up at different points. Here’s another graph, but this one starts in 1990 but it gives you some idea at least of the number of deaths from HIV/AIDS, annual numbers of deaths. It is just continually shooting up through the ’90s until it eventually peaks later in the ’90s and early 2000s and begins to decline.
GL: Yeah, and that’s because we actually had a medical regimen after that that worked. Those were the Bush years and he put a massive amount of money into the research and into the pharmaceuticals to make something happen more than had been happening. And then like I said, a lot of the drop in loss of life has everything to do with sharing what the United States developed in his administration with the rest of the world for nothing. I mean, just handing it over. In Africa, he just turned all of that over and provided massive amounts of the medications that were coming out of the pharmaceuticals here in the United States. And he was paying for it. He didn’t charge them. It was a free thing to stop the spread of AIDS. And it worked. He saved millions of lives.
CB: Yeah, there was some really major… There’s a major turning point at the Saturn-Pluto opposition that I want to get to. I did want to mention, you had mentioned ACT UP a few times and you do have a chart for that that you gave me. It was founded on March 12th, 1987 at around 7:30 pm.
GL: Yeah. Well, the meeting started at 7:30 pm. Yeah.
CB: And this chart is set for Larry Kramer giving a talk, right?
GL: Right. Yes, Larry Kramer was an active member of ACT UP. He was part of the initial impetus for it. I think it was Larry Kramer who actually called for it to be organized.
CB: Yeah, that’s my understanding of what this is.
GL: I think it was in Larry Kramer’s apartment in New York.
CB: Right, and I’ll have you describe it. But one of the things I think that’s really important about this chart is we’ve now shifted to Saturn in Sagittarius but we’re very close to the Saturn-Uranus conjunction in Sagittarius at this point where Saturn’s at 20 degrees of Sag and Uranus is at 26 Sag. And I think that’s one of the signatures for ACT UP was… So, can you describe what ACT UP was?
GL: ACT UP was an organization to force the country, and particularly the politicians both locally and nationally in DC, force them to confront the realities of the loss of life, death in the in the gay community, and that it was spreading and there was still very little being done. Yes, in ’85 Reagan said there’s AIDS, it’s the priority, $190 million. It didn’t do enough. It was not nearly enough. ACT UP was demanding full mobilization of governmental resources to stop the spread of AIDS; research, medication, hopefully vaccination, whatever it was going to take. And they were going to do it with direct confrontation. It wasn’t just demonstrations. They would stop traffic, they would get in politicians’ faces, they would plaster the Silence=Death all over everything. It was an act of civil rebellion, what ACT UP was doing. But they were very effective. It was stunning how effective they really were in getting the attention of the politicians in Congress particularly.
CB: Yeah, it seems like they organized a lot of protests. It was very aggressive and kind of like in-your-face, but it ended up being very effective, actually, in actually getting tangible change in different ways. One of the things that they protested was that one of the main early medicines for AIDS had this astounding $10,000 a year price tag for it or something and it was, I think at the time, it was the most expensive medicine that had ever been on the market.
GL: And most people… 99% of any gay man who has HIV could not afford that medicine. It was impossible.
CB: And that was AZT, right? That was AZT. AZT, is that what it was?
GL: Yeah, AZT. Yes.
CB: It was originally $10,000 and one of the things that ACT UP protested was that, and they were able to get the company or to force the company to do a price reduction from $10,000 to $7,000, I think is what I read.
GL: Yeah, that was significant. It was still… I mean, if you didn’t have insurance you weren’t going to be able to afford it. Insurance companies were loath to pay for it. It took a tremendous amount of activism and pushing, and finally certain Congress people actually got behind it and began pushing also for reduction in costs and at least to get insurance companies to cover it.
CB: Okay. Yeah, so that ended up being really effective. They organized a lot of protests and different types of sit-ins and other things like that from when they were founded in ’87, it seemed, like all the way through ’91 or so in some of the major events like lists that I was looking at, which was really interesting because it coincided with the entire period of Saturn conjoining Uranus in Sagittarius, but also both planets moved into Capricorn so the conjunction continued into the late ’80s and early ’90s.
GL: Yes, when they were in Capricorn I think is when ACT UP had its most success. The work they had been doing actually turned out to lay the groundwork for what happened then in the early ’90s. There was less stigma attached, it was easier to come out. It was very important… One of the things that ACT UP did was push the coming out process. A couple of times, a few of the ACT UP people I think overstepped and they would out certain people that they wanted to be out and they wouldn’t do that voluntarily, so they sort of did it for them. That’s an unfortunate thing. But it did kind of scare a lot of prominent people who were gay and not out that they would be outed so many of them started coming out. And like I said, then we had a National Coming Out Day, and then people were just coming out left and right. It was very important that that was part of the process.
CB: Okay, so that was part of the… And that’s part of what you were talking about earlier that you said eventually motivated you and maybe some other astrologers in the community, too.
GL: Yeah. Yeah. Particularly in Seattle, it was Bruce Hammerslough and I who talked about that, the idea of… Because Bruce had not come out yet within the astrological community, even though I had been trying to do that since ’83 and telling people that I was gay. It didn’t seem to go anywhere, it’s like people ignored it kind of. They just, “Oh, okay, whatever.” It really wasn’t until Bruce said something in the late ’80s at the NORWAC that people in Seattle began to perk up their ears and say, “Oh, we have gay people in the community! And some of them are HIV-positive. Some have AIDS.” That was an extremely important step, I think, and it had everything to do with ACT UP. It had everything to do with, you know, there was Saturn-Uranus in Capricorn.
CB: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. It’s interesting because just over the past few years, we had the Saturn-Uranus square as Saturn has been transiting through Aquarius and squaring Uranus and Taurus. And we saw a lot of protests over the course of the past few years about different things, and there was kind of a similar energy of standing up to establishments or the government, especially, and trying to shake up change and make change happen sometimes against what was seen as oppressive or intractable authority figures.
GL: Yeah, I think that’s common with… I mean, that’s very common with Saturn-Uranus. Of course, we have to understand too that Saturn-Uranus had everything to do with the collapse, symbolically if you wanted it just the way you were describing it, the collapse of the Berlin Wall. So there is that Uranus-Saturn thing where Uranus comes in and just brings down the walls.
CB: Demolishes everything. Right.
GL: But not in a bad way. I don’t think that Uranus demolishes the good things about Saturn. No, I think what it does is it tears down what isn’t appropriate in the way that Saturn is applied socially. If it’s too oppressive, if it’s… Yeah, if it’s too oppressive, Uranus is going to break through that somehow. And it usually takes demonstrations and protests against those sort of tyrannical Saturnian policies.
CB: Yeah, that makes sense. Okay. So by 1991 and 1992, Saturn is in Aquarius and it’s squaring Pluto in mid-Scorpio at this point. And like I said earlier, it’s like we continue to see in some instances major celebrities talking about being HIV positive. Magic Johnson, for example, the basketball star comes out with that on November 7th, 1991. I think that’s an important or one of many notable instances of that. But also just that in 1991 and 1992, I think what’s important is that we hit the waxing square or the opening square of the Saturn-Pluto synodic cycle. And at this point in the chronologies, AIDS becomes the number one cause of death for US men between the ages of 25 to 44. That’s pretty major at this time, or that’s a really important turning point.
GL: Well, it’s a crisis in action. Let’s say, for what happened at the conjunction when we look at what happened at the conjunction and the disease sort of takes hold and we become aware of that disease and what it is and how it develops, and now at the square, you see an increasing number of deaths, like you were saying. So you’re in a crisis mode [when it] hits that square. But also in terms of let’s say public reaction, what happened at the 45 degree, what happened at the 60-degree angle or aspect between Saturn and Pluto, now you get to the square and you realize there was progress made in getting the public to get behind ending the epidemic. And not just that, but business and pharmaceuticals and government. And by the early ’90s at the square, of course, you had Clinton who was elected, and he’s even pushing, opening up the military to gay men. Of course, it doesn’t work out that way, we end up with this horrendous compromise called “don’t ask, don’t tell”, but nonetheless, gay men were now openly in the military. And so there’s a lot of stuff that’s happening with the Saturn-Pluto thing in relation to the disease, but the disease in turn is having– and what we’re doing with the disease and how we’re reacting to it socially is having an impact on how the country actually views gay people and where their place is in society and how they’re… And the coming out process is really all about, “We’re here, we’re not going away, and we want to be part of the fabric of American society.” So at the square, this political push behind AIDS really gets the momentum going. The Conservatives lost out on that one. They pushed hard against it but in the end, those whose intentions were at the conjunction to do something about the disease and to do something about the conditions of gay men, particularly in American society, that really took on, at the first quarter square, a crisis in action where the gay community and the Human Rights Campaign, they were able to make some really positive advancements politically in the country.
CB: Yeah, I noticed in 1993 as soon as Clinton gets in office ’92 that he establishes the White House Office of National AIDS Policy. So it seems like with that shift, that there’s a little bit more political effort and movement from that point forward. And I know, for example, there was one doctor for example who in 1992, on September 14th, 1992, he was doing a biopsy or an autopsy on a patient who had died of AIDS, and he accidentally cut himself and ended up getting AIDS as a result of that. But then he set about looking at a lot of the scientific research that was available and started combining different drugs, which ended up being an early version of some of the later AIDS cocktails that would later be successful in the future later in the ’90s. So it seems like there were things that were happening at that point where some of the understanding of how to start putting together different antiviral drugs or other drugs that would later become what would be successful that that started to germinate.
GL: Yeah, and the first quarter square you can expect that kind of thing. It is a crisis in action, and sometimes depending on what happened at the semi-square and at the sextile and at the quintile and even at the septile, it’s going to determine what happens at the first quarter square. And because of the positive developments in relation to the gay community and AIDS in the first quarter throughout the first quarter of the Saturn-Pluto cycle at the square, that crisis in action actually became a mobilization of energy and political force. And from the government itself, not just in the grassroots. That was a really positive thing that we move forward, look at the trine, and then look at the 135-degree aspect and then look at the opposition, the Saturn-Pluto opposition and you’ll see where those things that actually came into being and those things that got political traction at the first quarter square come to fruition at the opposition.
CB: Yeah, I was really struck by in 1995 and 1996, we have Saturn in Pisces and it’s training Pluto, and Pluto also eventually ingresses into Sagittarius so that it sort of continues the sign-based square with Saturn. What we see at this time is the first protease inhibitor drugs are approved by the FDA, December of 1995 through ’96. And then after this from like 1996 forward, the number of new AIDS case diagnoses in the US declines for the first time since the beginning of the epidemic, in 1996. And then eventually not long after that, AIDS is no longer the leading cause of death for all Americans aged 25 to 44, although it still remains a leading cause of death for African Americans in this age group.
CB: So yeah, we see a turning point. Then eventually I think we get to the opposition around 2000-2001, where Pluto is in Sagittarius and Saturn goes into Gemini.
GL: Right. And that’s when we start seeing the distribution of… Well, that’s where we start seeing government taking full-scale responsibility. Okay? Yeah, it started at the first quarter square and even in terms of pharmaceuticals participating in the efforts to get this medication out there. At the opposition starting in the early 2000s, you start seeing, like I said, President Bush actually spending tremendous amounts of billions of dollars in AIDS research and funding, both in terms of pharmaceuticals. And then using some of that money as well to ship these products to other parts of the world for free.
CB: Yeah, it seems like from 2000 forward, the international efforts to combat AIDS really ramp up when the Saturn-Pluto opposition gets going and more formalized agreements to start to address disparities between the resources for AIDS in different countries and regions of the world really becomes the focus. Let’s see, I’ve got on my timeline July 2002, joint United Nations program on AIDS reports that HIV/AIDS is now by far the leading cause of death in Sub-Saharan Africa and the fourth biggest global killer. The average life expectancy in Sub-Saharan Africa falls from 62 years to 47 as a result of AIDS. And this is all during the Saturn-Pluto opposition from Gemini to Sagittarius.
CB: That’s a really important and striking turning point. Even if in the US some of it’s starting to decline, worldwide we’re still… It’s getting worse.
GL: We’re still in the cycle of increasing loss of life all through the waning cycle from conjunction to opposition. You are going to get increased loss of life, I think that’s a given in the Saturn-Pluto cycle. It’s after the opposition and it comes down to the waning side that you start seeing – if all the measures that have been put into place and the political traction is there and they’re successful at the opposition, then after the opposition as it goes into its waning phase then you’re going to see the numbers drop in terms of death and you’re going to see more cooperation as it goes through the disseminating phase, where the cooperation between countries is going to spread out and they’re going to do more to combat this and there’s more resource going to be put into it. That’s just the nature of the cycle as you go through the disseminating phase after the full phase.
CB: Yeah, for sure. In 2003 when the Saturn-Pluto opposition is on its way out on the tail end of that, oral arguments are being made on March 26th, 2003 in the Supreme Court, where the Supreme Court would eventually a few months later in June of 2003 strike down the quote-unquote “homosexual conduct law” which criminalizes same-sex conduct with the-
GL: Is that June? That’s at the end of June. June 24th or June 26th. I can’t remember the date.
GL: June 26th, yeah. The decision comes down at just a minute or two after 10:00 am.
CB: Oh, you have a chart for that?
GL: Yeah, I do. It’s about 10:02. I think it’s about 10:02 in the morning on the 26th.
CB: In Washington?
GL: Washington, D.C. Yeah.
CB: Yeah, okay. So, here it is. Okay, there it is. So that’s an exact time? 10:02 am.
GL: Yeah, it is.
CB: Huh, that’s really interesting. Okay, so we’ve got 26 Leo rising and Jupiter is at 17 Leo. That’s really striking because it’s just reminding me of the 2015 court decision where Venus and Jupiter were meeting at around those degrees in Leo, I think.
GL: Yeah, that’s exactly right. And the decision then came down within a minute or two after 10:00 am in 2015.
CB: Okay. And this was important because basically up until this point, some of those state laws still basically banned same-sex relationships.
GL: Yeah, a lot of states. Probably a good half of the country’s states still criminalized same-sex behavior. Illinois was the first to decriminalize in 1961. Other states… Most states that did decriminalize did so in the 1970s, between ’73 and ’75 mostly.
GL: The rest of them still insisted that same-sex behavior was illegal in those states. And not just illegal, but it was criminal. A lot of those states still had the same laws on the books that were created by 1923. 10 years in prison, and if you were considered incorrigible, then you were going to be sterilized.
GL: So it was great that Lawrence v. Texas struck down those laws saying those are unconstitutional.
CB: Yeah, that’s a huge turning point. Jumping forward a little bit. By late 2008 and 2009, we get Saturn goes into Libra and it’s squaring Pluto which is an early Capricorn. So we get the waning square and the last major phase of the hard aspects of the Saturn-Pluto cycle. And over the next few years while Saturn is transiting through Libra and squaring Pluto in Capricorn, we get some major developments. In October 30th, 2009, the Obama administration announces that they will officially lift the HIV travel and immigration ban in January of 2010, which is really huge because basically going back to the early part of the epidemic, they outlawed travel basically of people who were HIV positive to travel into the US or to immigrate here.
GL: Yeah. And I think I consider the last quarter phase a crisis in awareness, perhaps crisis in consciousness, where it begins a time where you’re three-quarters of the way through the cycle but you now have perspective on what happened, everything that went right, and everything that went wrong through the cycle from the previous conjunction. And it’s a time to adjust and make corrections, and also to make sure that you keep the effort going. A lot of times because it is a crisis in awareness and a crisis consciousness, there’s often– I’ve seen historically with certain planetary pairs, outer planetary pairs like this– that they lose momentum at the last quarter square. And then that opens the door for opposition to come in and try to establish a foothold in the process so that when the next conjunction comes along, that opposition takes control. In this case, that’s not what happened. We were able to correctly see what went right and what went wrong through the cycle. And energy was mobilized, we kept things going both in terms of medical research, in terms of cooperation globally, in terms of getting things right politically inside the United States as well. And not just here, but in Europe they do the same thing. So we started seeing some really positive developments in the AIDS thing.
CB: Yeah, this is a really crucial and largely positive turning point this waning square around 2010 and 2011. Some of the stuff in my chronology is just Obama signs the Affordable Care Act, March 23rd, 2010 and this actually… One of the side effects that some people don’t know about the Affordable Care Act is that it expanded access to care and prevention for all Americans. But in particular, it offered special protections to those living with chronic illnesses like HIV that made it difficult for them to access or afford health care prior to that time. So, like pre-existing conditions and things like that.
GL: Yeah. Oh, yeah. I knew men who were HIV positive and could not get any insurance prior to Obamacare. Luckily, those men did not become sick with AIDS, the ones I knew, but if they had, it would have been a nightmare for them. The cost of the medicines and the cost of hospitalization that can happen, even if you go in and then come out and you’re okay for a while. The medical expenses are just outrageous, so for them to be covered under the Obamacare Act was a major step forward. It also gave people with HIV hope that they’re going to get through this. It was great.
CB: That makes sense. So here’s the chart for that March 23rd, 2010. We see Saturn is at one degree of Libra squaring Pluto at five Capricorn. It’s opposite the Sun at two Aries. And at some point that day, the Moon swooped in and completed a Grand Cross somewhere in early Cancer, like four Cancer.
Later that year, there was other things. In July, the Obama administration released the first comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy for the United States on July 13th, 2010. November of 2010, “a huge development was the National Institutes of Health announced the results of a study showing that a daily dose of HIV drugs reduced the risk of HIV infection among HIV-negative men who had sex with other men by 44%, supporting the concept of pre-exposure prophylaxis in a targeted population.” So basically, what ended up happening is that PrEP was developed at the Saturn-Pluto square as well. And eventually by July of 2012 when Saturn is still in Libra squaring Pluto, PrEP is approved by the FDA. That’s huge and it just shows that’s the final thing for me where I was like, “Okay, yes, this is… We can see the foundation of this epidemic at the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in the early ’80s, and then we see the important turning points, at especially the hard aspects during the course of it. And that was one of the final really major ones was developing some of the things that could help people, if they felt like they had been exposed, to not develop HIV even if they had been exposed.
GL: Right. And not just that. I mean, yes, PrEP is there. But that’s one part of the overall pharmaceutical regimen that’s available. It’s quite astonishing to me that you can watch TV and you will see commercials for these medicines for HIV-positive people with the message that you may be HIV, but we promise you you will never get AIDS. You have a medical regimen that makes this disease manageable for who knows how long. That is just mind-blowing to me that we can watch these commercials on TV that actually advertise this reality. Perhaps young people don’t maybe have the historical perspective and so there’s just like, “Yeah. Well, that’s cool. Yeah, right.” Coming from where I’m coming from, from 1981 until now, this is just phenomenal.
CB: Yeah. Yeah, going from it literally being a death sentence in the early to mid-1980s or even not early ’90s of people being given months to live or a few years to live or what have you, to living for decades and living out a full healthy life with it becoming something that’s manageable.
GL: Yeah, and that includes having an active sex life. I mean, you don’t have to be afraid of that anymore. It’s a wonderful thing. And that shows you in the cycle, the Saturn-Pluto cycle from beginning to the next one, that, “Okay, now we’re off and we’re doing something else again with the last half of Pluto conjunction.” AIDS is still a reality out there, but like I said, it’s no longer a crisis, it is a manageable disease. That is everything that we wanted from the beginning, just let’s make it manageable in some way. Either a vaccine or somehow, make it so that it doesn’t destroy our lives. And that’s been done. And yeah, I agree with you, you can watch these aspects, these key turning points. And you’re right, especially at the first quarter square opposition last quarter square, and how these developments actually happened. At each turn, what happened was absolutely dependent on what happened at the previous aspect.
So this is my message with the planetary pairs no matter what it is. You do have an eight-phase cycle, just like you do with the Sun-Moon. It’s the same concept, it’s the same thing. And you do have an interpretive framework for that. Okay? For the new phase and the crescent phase and the first quarter phase, etc, all the way around to the last phase the balsamic phase, and what those phases mean and how to interpret the aspects within those phases. I think a lot of times we get stuck with the idea that an aspect, you know, a trine is a trine is a trine. It doesn’t matter where the two planets are in relation to each other, it’s a trine. That’s not the case if we want to really look at that from a mundane point of view, going in a developmental cycle from conjunction to opposition back to conjunction. Then the waning phase aspects have kind of very different meaning than the waxing phase aspects. So the first quarter trine as a waxing trine and then the last quarter trine as a waning, they have very different meanings and very different social and political realities that follow.
CB: Yeah, that’s huge that it really depends on where you’re at in the cycle and is it something that’s still building up in the same way that the Moon when it’s in the waxing part of its phase is still increasing in light and getting brighter and brighter heading towards the Full Moon at the opposition? Or are you on the waning side of the phase of the relationship where in the lunar cycle the Moon has passed the Full Moon point and is now getting dimmer and dimmer and dimmer until it eventually completes the cycle at the New Moon at the next New Moon?
GL: Yeah, yeah. I think the difference is that when you’re using something… Yeah, we’re using that model with say, Saturn-Pluto or Uranus-Pluto whatever, but when we get to that balsamic phase, the last 45 degree before the conjunction again, that is the most– historically and in my work, it’s very clear to me that any two of the outer planets when they reach that balsamic phase, that is really the crisis time. That’s the end of the cycle. Everything starts breaking down and reality is up for grabs in regards to the two planets involved. And there’s a tremendous struggle for dominance to determine what new intentions will be set at the conjunction. So politically, those are very volatile times when the two outer planets are in a 45-degree angle but in the balsamic phase and the waning part of the cycle.
CB: Yeah, that makes sense. Let me see if I can show you a graphic again from your blog where you have that full cycle with all of the major and minor aspects.
GL: Well, yeah, just the 45-60 trines, 135 trines. I didn’t really include the septile or the quintile aspects in it, but I do pay very close attention to them. They are part of my interpretive framework with that.
CB: Yeah. All right. And then here’s just some graphs from Wikipedia that give some perspective on this on their page for HIV/AIDS. And then it has a diagram labeled “Trends in new cases and deaths per year from HIV/AIDS”, and you just see the numbers going up and up and up in the ’90s and then eventually in the early 2000s, around the time of the opposition between Saturn and Pluto, it finally starts to decline worldwide until where it’s at today. So yeah, that’s pretty striking. It shows also that, you know, because this cycle that we’ve talked about with the New Moon or the conjunction between those two outer planets and then the waxing square, and the opposition, the waning square, we’re used to doing that because you can usually apply that to the outer planet cycles in a person’s birth chart. Like the Saturn cycle, for example, is commonly used and you can apply those principles to a person’s life in those 30-year increments of the Saturn cycle. But it just shows that some of these principles are just as applicable not just in natal astrology, but also to mundane astrology. You’re just dealing with much broader timeframes and much broader scales sometimes when you’re working at that level.
GL: Right, you’re working with historical and socio-political processes. Right? In that sense, the interpretation of the different phases and the aspects of the phases take on a different hue. They’re a little different than when you’re watching the human development of an individual person. But the principle, like you said, is the same. And you can do that with any two planets, you know, watching… Particularly, I would say, particularly your Sun-Moon, your progressed lunation cycle for example, in your secondary progressions. And I think that’s critical to see the new phase, then progressed New Moon, progressed first quarter square in opposition, and so forth. They tell you a lot about a person’s journey during that 28 to 30-year period.
CB: Yeah, for sure. All right, here’s some other graphs I want to show just before we wrap up. This is Archetypal Explorer again just showing the original conjunction in the early ’80s between Saturn and Pluto, the first square in the early to mid ’90s, the opposition in the early 2000s, and then the waning square from 2010 and 2011 around that timeframe. And then finally, the next conjunction and the end of that cycle in 2020. So, that’s cool. And then also another graph for worldwide deaths showing the peak in the early 2000s and then the decline. That’s the other thing that’s interesting and that got me fascinated with this in 2020 when we were dealing with COVID, is that it’s kind of rare with astrology sometimes when you’re dealing with life events or you’re dealing with people’s psychology, sometimes you don’t have a lot of objective data to work with, except for a marriage date or somebody gets a job or something like that. But with this studying pandemics, it’s kind of interesting as an astrologer as a mundane astrologer because you have some objective data to work with to sort of compare some of the, not just the charts but the different planetary cycles over long spans of time. And I think there’s something that’s fascinating from that just with my astrologer cap on, aside from the personal obviously and the human side of that story. It’s much different than how we’re used to applying astrology in some ways.
GL: Absolutely. I love that. I watch the outer planetary cycles and I compare them to different times in history. Given what’s happening now, let’s take Uranus-Pluto for example, we just not too long ago, a few years ago had the Uranus-Pluto first quarter square after their conjunction in 1965-66. And we know from that conjunction that we had a great liberalization in the world. Not just in the United States, in Europe as well. There was this big flowering of liberal political and social philosophy and out of that, of course, you get civil rights and voting rights and women’s rights and gay rights. All of this comes in the wake of that Uranus-Pluto conjunction in ’65-’66. Now when we hit that first quarter square, we got a dose of reality in a big way with a conservative backlash to that liberalization and their efforts to undo that. Okay? And now as we approach the trine, we’re starting to see some success that they’re having in undoing some of the liberal principles and policies of the mid-1960s and ’70s, but there’s a parallel to that. All we have to do is look at the last time Uranus and Pluto were in the same relationship, first quarter square, 1876. From there to the opposition in 1901, we saw exactly the same thing. A packed court with racists and conservatives who overturned in 1883 every single civil rights law that was passed after the Civil War. And then by 1896 with the Plessy decision, they completely segregated the country. Not just racially, but ethnically. And then by 1901 at the opposition, it was a done deal and not only was it a completely segregated society racially and ethnically, but the federal government actually then created policies around things like redlining and real estate practices and that sort of thing. So we’re in a parallel situation right now. The liberals didn’t fight hard enough back then to stop that. Hopefully, we’ll be able to stand up to this challenge to the great liberalization of the Uranus-Pluto conjunction of ’65-’66 as we go through this first quarter square between the two planets now. We’re in that parallel period in the late 19th century where Uranus and Pluto are in the same relationship.
CB: Sure. So this is what you do and this is a large part of your specialization is studying these types of outer planet cycles and always looking at it relative to what started under a conjunction, and then what context does that set then for the next aspects.
GL: Exactly. And then I compare what I’m looking at to historical cycles to make sure that I’m on the right track. Because if nothing else, astrology is predictable when it comes to these patterns. You see these patterns repeat and you look at the social-political processes that are going on, and you realize it’s really no different. We’re just in a different… We’re in a different time in history and so you have different technologies and different political systems, but some of the same things are happening in regard to the same principles. And particularly with Uranus-Pluto, it has everything to do with civil rights, it has everything to do with human rights, it has everything to do with reaction to that in the form of bigotry and discrimination and how that plays out in the society, and who’s going to win and who’s going to come out on top and who’s going to control the social, political, and cultural narrative. That is what Uranus-Pluto is all about. That’s just an example of how I look at these cycles. And I call it astro-history more than just astrology or more than just mundane astrology because everything about it is rooted in history. It’s always looking back to the two or three previous cycles to figure out what this next one that’s coming is going to do. It’s pretty easy to do that. I mean, you just look at the sign that they fall in and maybe even the decan– I need to look at the decans as well– to get some underlying information. But to me, it’s really important work to do. Yeah, a lot of my writing about this stuff is in my blog. I have a number of articles related to the Jupiter-Saturn cycle, the last Jupiter-Neptune cycle, the Uranus-Pluto cycle. I have a number of articles related to these things.
CB: Okay, and your website is garylorentzen.com.
GL: Just garylorentzen.com. Yeah, all one word, garylorentzen.com
CB: Brilliant. There it is. There’s your blog. Yeah, and to your point, I think one thing that makes a difference is actually living through and experiencing events as they’re happening and observing the planets and what they’re doing at that time does something different to you that I’ve had to learn as a younger astrologer as I get older and I have that experience over and over again, you internalize it in a much different way than somebody that just goes back and researches it in books or events that they didn’t experience the time. Where, for example, living through the early 1980s and having that first-hand experience of the AIDS epidemic, when 2020 was coming along, let’s say in 2019, and people were wondering what that Saturn-Pluto conjunction was going to be like, you had a pretty good idea and a pretty good experience from before to draw on of what that might be like or what the experience might be.
GL: Right, that’s right. I mean, you have personal experience with it as you get older, you are going to experience these cycles, right? And so if you have any memory at all, you’re going to have… It’s going to be part of your consciousness as the conjunctions and opposition squares happen as they do. I feel like my job is, however, to… Yeah, sure. I pay attention to those and yeah, I have a personal reaction to all of those and I have personal memories around them. But having been a student of history for going on 50 years and actually university study and all of that, the history to me is paramount. We don’t understand these outer planetary cycles without looking at the historical reality sometimes. It’s just like our personal, like you were saying, you have this personal experience in let’s say in ’82. And so you have the sort of intuition or some indication of what the next Saturn-Pluto conjunction is going to bring because you have that experience. If you study history and you actually go back and research that stuff, the cycles that happened in previous centuries, and look at the history around them, I think that’s my job to write about. That’s my passion. That’s what I love to write about. And there’s painfully little… Sure, Tarnas does this mind-blowing thing with his books and I love them. They’re just… They’re just such top-notch. It’s just quality astrological thinking as well as intellectual work.
CB: Cosmos and Psyche, I guess I should mention the title.
GL: Yeah, Cosmos and Psyche.
CB: That’s a book that everybody who does this kind of historical research that’s one of their top if not their top book.
GL: Absolutely for me, yeah. But also Passion of the Western Mind. He lays the groundwork for Cosmos and Psyche in the first book, Passion of the Western Mind. But that’s pure history and yet, for those of us who do think of themselves as historians, when I read through Passion of the Western Mind, I understood exactly what he was doing and where he was going. And I knew at the end of that book, that he was going to come up with something like Cosmos and Psyche where he was going to actually show the astrological implications of what he was writing about. And he did that. For me, I’m not that kind of a writer. I write in smaller chunks. My Mercury-Saturn conjunct in Virgo, it’s just, “Let’s be precise here. Let’s just get down to the nitty-gritty and make it as short as possible,” even though I get very verbose sometimes. And even my writing, like that article, is 10,000 words long. But still, I could expand on that and turn that into a 300-page book easily. And that’s what I’m saying. I kind of hone it down to writing in smaller chunks about this stuff. Mainly because I think it’s a lot more accessible to the reader, where they don’t have to go through 300-400 pages. It wouldn’t be a problem for me, but I do know I talk to astrologers and they’ll say, “Yeah, I didn’t get through Cosmos and Psyche, it’s just too big.” I’ve met people who said that. The same thing with Rudhyar’s books or with Marc Edmund Jones. And they, especially, most people just can’t deal with Marc Edmund Jones. So at some point, we have to take some of these ideas that these I would say very intellectual astrologers have and try to put them into smaller chunks, more manageable, and more consumable. And I hope that’s what… I hope that’s what I’m doing. [laughs]
CB: Yeah. No, I think people will find a lot of really valuable resources in terms of that on your blog. And I like your point that a good astrologer, especially a mundane astrologer is a student of history and that there’s something very valuable about learning the tools of the historian in order to combine that with astrology because once you do, you learn a lot about astrology as we’ve demonstrated in this episode with a lot of really striking correlations if you just go back and start studying what happened in the past. You learn a lot of things that are then relevant that you can project out into the future. Like if you were to project that, for example, in 2020 the way that many astrologers did and correctly predict with pretty striking accuracy what’s coming up. But also, sometimes you can take some of these things and project them back into the future and use them for historical research. You mentioned going back and studying past conjunctions, and that’s actually one of the things that kept coming up for me over and over again as I was researching this is researching some of the early history of AIDS. Because it didn’t start in 1981, it’s just that we became aware of it and the pandemic really got going at that point. But scientific researchers currently think that AIDS originally jumped from I think chimpanzees into humans sometime around the 1910 through 1920 timeframe.
GL: Yeah, very early on. Yeah.
CB: Yeah. Well, what’s interesting about that to me is– that 1910 to 1920 timeframe– is right in the middle of that as we talked about earlier-
GL: Right, with the Saturn-Pluto conjunction. Yeah.
CB: Yeah, Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Cancer between the 1913 through 1916 or ’17 timeframe, which then from an astrological standpoint if we’ve kind of established already that the Saturn-Pluto cycle was relevant to the AIDS epidemic from the 1980s through the 2020s, it could be suggestive then that the astrology could be pointing us and sort of telling us where the earlier history of this may have started right there around the 1914-1915 timeframe, which also is interesting because it’s just another, if that’s true let’s just say hypothetically for a moment, it’s just another one of those implications or indications of something we’ve seen a few times that sometimes the astrology is telling you that something important is happening, but at the time you may not fully understand or know what has happened that’s so important that started at that time. And sometimes it’s like important things are happening and the astrology is kind of yelling at you that something’s happening, but you may not be aware of it until later in retrospect.
GL: I call that… It’s a perpetual condition of… What do I want to say? Failure of imagination. [laughs] I mean, we see it, but we can’t imagine that it’s actually going to happen that way, you know? And yet it so often does. I’m guilty of that, too. I can think back to November of 2019 and thinking, “Well, I know it brings epidemics, but do we really think we’re going to get a global pandemic out of this thing?” Some people were saying, “Yes, I really do think that.” I was having a failure of imagination at that time and it wasn’t until the end of December that I really changed my mind about the COVID pandemic. But initially, it was like, “No, I don’t want to believe that that’s going to happen.” [laughs] You know what I mean? I had that failure of imagination in November and I think that’s a common thing among astrologers.
CB: Yes. Yeah, sometimes that’s a lesson I’ve had to learn as well, that you have to just call it like you see it and there’s something valuable about that. And sometimes also that sometimes the most literal manifestation of the basic keywords that you have for those planets or those combinations can oftentimes hit the closest to what the actual manifestation is. And while it’s true that it’s also, especially in natal astrology, that sometimes there’s broader psychological things that are not quite as literal, especially when dealing with mundane astrology, sometimes it’s just very literal and very straightforward in terms of the symbolism.
GL: I would agree. Yeah. To me, that’s what made mundane astrology that much more fascinating. And a little more cut and dry, it fit my Mercury-Saturn-Virgo better than dealing with people. [laughs] I got to the point and then I just said… I can’t deal with people anymore. I can’t sit down and carry the burden of their lives, you know?
CB: Yeah. Well, it just shows there’s different applications of astrology and different ways to use astrology to enhance other types of studies and it’s not all just like one thing. There’s many different ways to be an astrologer and I think this is something that I hope other historians at some point will find what a useful tool astrology can be, not replacing other historical studies but as an adjunct to enhance certain things.
GL: Except that, having been through that academic training in history, there’s just this absolute taboo rejection of what they call historicism. Now historicism originally is associated with religious prophecy, okay? But anything that, like astrology for example, that says there are patterns that repeat and that the future can be predicted to some degree, historians reject that as unscientific. I’ve had that conversation with a number of professors because I would even try to write some of my papers back at university talking about historical patterns. Not necessarily repetitive patterns, but patterns that resonate over time. And even that, my professor said, “No, can’t do that. You’re not going to talk about stuff like that.” So there’s this fairly rigid position that most academic historians take that they’re just not interested in what they call ‘historicism’.
CB: Yeah, and I could almost see… I could understand that if you didn’t have astrology as a framework, because occasionally it’s like in history you see some of those patterns but you don’t see a clear mechanism or reason for some of those repetitions to exist so it’s easier to just chalk it up to a random pattern like people see Jesus on a piece of toast or something like that. But once you are aware of the astrology and you have enough training in the astrology to know what to look for, you can see some of those patterns underlying history. And some of them are just so striking that it’s hard once you’ve seen it to forget that that exists.
GL: [laughs] I couldn’t ignore it. Once I saw it, I was like, “I can’t ignore this.” The history professor says don’t do it, but I’m going to say, “I’m doing it. I can’t not do it. I’ve seen it, I see what it is and I’m going to go forward with it.” But that also is why I didn’t then go to grad school in history, I chose to do it in language and linguistics because of that resistance on the part of the historians.
CB: Yeah, for sure. All right, I want to say a few things to sort of wrap this or bring this to a close. One, I meant to say that we’ve only scratched the surface of this topic. I’m sure there’s other pieces that we missed or overlooked or didn’t state with precision because this is such a huge and such a vast topic. I’m sure this is only, even though this is like a three-hour discussion, there was still a lot more that could have been said and I hope that other people will use this as a starting point for further research and further work on this topic. I’m sure there’s a lot more to be done both in terms of AIDS as well as in terms of the history of civil rights with the gay community and different things like that. So I want to say that. I want to say shout-out to Leisa Schaim for helping with some research assistance for this episode, it was actually super invaluable. So I wanted to thank her for that. Shout-out to Christopher Renstrom for that other article we mentioned that he wrote in the first Queer Astrologers publication. That was an amazing one that people should check out for additional information on some of this. I also think people should check out your article in Volume 1 of The Ascendant Journal, the official journal for the Association for Young Astrologers, which Jenn Zahrt edited and she just told me last night that it’s still available for purchase on Amazon. It’s just titled The Ascendant Volume 1, edited by Jenn Zahrt, Austin Coppock, and Nicholas Civitello, back when Austin was still president of the Association for Young Astrologers. Your article in that is just amazing and it was a very important contribution to understanding the very personal impact that AIDS had on the astrological community. So I really appreciate that you wrote that. Also, there’s probably a number of other astrologers that we don’t know about because I think you list like 14 in that article.
GL: And I’m making it clear, there may be more. These are the only ones I’m aware of. Right? How many more are out there? I don’t know. And that’s not counting probably some of the brilliant astrologers from Germany and England and you know?
CB: Yeah, for sure, and just worldwide that died or were affected by that pandemic. And then also, shout-out to a lot of the younger astrologers over the past decade that have sort of picked up and taken the baton forward, especially many of the astrologers that organized or contributed to the Queer Astrology Conference and continue to. I know Demetrius Bagley, for example, has been continuing some of that work with the Queer Astrology Conference and I believe their publication of papers is still available for sale if people want to pick it up.
GL: I think so.
CB: Yeah, a copy of that. You wrote the foreword to that, right?
CB: Did you attend the first conference?
GL: I attended the planning for it. I couldn’t go to the first conference. I ended up… Jenn called me, she was living in the Bay Area at the time, Jenn Zahrt called me and said, “Gary, come down. I want you to go to this meeting with me,” and so Dan and I went down to visit Jenn and stayed with her. And then she took me to this meeting and it was Ian who was conducting the meeting, he was kind of in charge. They were going over the idea of creating not just queering astrology, which is the overriding purpose, but then to actually create a conference, a Queer Astrology Conference. That was the year before the first conference actually took place. What was that? 2012? It’s been a long time.
CB: Yeah, I think it was… Well, the conference itself was July 2013 so yeah, that must have been 2012 that you’re talking about.
GL: Yeah, it was the previous fall that I went to that planning session and participated in what Ian was doing there with… Also, Rhea Wolf was there. So I was part of that and I introduced myself to Ian and so we got to know each other, and it was from there. I think it was also… I think Rhea Wolf actually was the one who contacted me and said, “Gary, can you write the foreword to the conference transcripts?”
CB: Nice, awesome. Yeah, she edited that and did a lot of work for that. I did check on Amazon and it looks like it is available on Amazon. If people want to order the conference proceedings or the papers from that, just do a search for Queer Astrology Anthology, edited by Ian Waisler and Rhea Wolf. And like I said, I previously interviewed Ian about that on an earlier episode of The Astrology Podcast, episode 84 titled “The Queer Astrology Conference”. Awesome, thank you so much for joining me for this today. This is amazing.
GL: I had a great time. You’re always fun to talk to though, Chris. [laughs] Whenever we talk, I really have a great time talking to you.
CB: Thank you. The feeling is the same, the feeling is mutual, and we’ll have to do this again sometime for a different planetary combination to go over some other planetary cycles because there’s so many other ones that just echo throughout history.
GL: Right, many. [laughs] But people can read what I’ve written about the last Jupiter-Neptune cycle. I call it Jupiter/Neptune and the Deconstruction of Truth. That was one. There’s a Saturn-Jupiter one that I wrote about and then, like I said in the last ones about Uranus and Pluto…
CB: So your website’s garylorentzen.com. And yeah, I see you have a bunch of articles. You’ve also got some audio lectures and stuff.
GL: Right. Those I collected over the years by different astrologers and I decided to put them on there.
CB: Oh, wow. Okay, some of these are actually some of the gay astrologers that you mentioned who passed away during the course of…
GL: Exactly. Buz Myers this morning, Howard Sasportas in…
CB: Yeah. Actually, I know we’re wrapping up but I meant to actually mention the dates of some of those people and some of the names that you mentioned, just to give people an idea of the scope. So for example, one of the names that you mentioned was Robert Cole who passed away in 1992. Another one you mentioned is Jesse Portis Helm who died in 1989. These were all astrologers that died of AIDS.
CB: Richard Lovell, 1983. Howard Sasportas, 1992. Tony Joseph, 1986. And you said he was the Director of the NCGR in 1979?
GL: No. No, NCGR? No. In ’79? I don’t know. I don’t know if he was or not.
CB: I thought that’s what you said. And I was kind of surprised because that’s a pretty high position.
GL: Actually, he might have been. He might have been. Because he was part of that rebellion in ’75 that led to the NCGR being founded. So he could have been. I don’t remember anymore, that was a long time ago that I put that down there.
CB: Let’s see if I can pull it up. Hold on. Here it is. You said, “Tony became Director of the National Council for Geocosmic Research in 1979.”
GL: Okay, then he did. Yeah.
CB: Yeah, that’s just crazy. It’s one of the main… It became one of the main astrological organizations so to have somebody who’s basically the president or the leader of that organization who was a gay man that would later die of AIDS less than a decade later is pretty striking.
CB: Another name was Steven Wimmersky, who you said passed away in 1993. And you noted that he was a stage manager of Michael Lutin’s play at UAC in 1992.
CB: And then your friend Bruce Hammerslough who passed away in 1995.
CB: Buz Myers in 2000. Mark Robertson in 1984, who you said on paper died of a heart attack. But…
GL: That was the official word but we knew he was a gay man and we knew he was sick and had been. So the family, I think they’re the ones that said he died of a heart attack. But no one really knows for sure. But knowing him, and he was one of my teachers, and talking to him, I had the feeling in the early ’80s before he died that he looked like he had HIV. He had that appearance, and then he just kind of stopped. He disappeared for a while until they found him dead in his apartment.
CB: Yeah, and I know there’s other people or celebrities or instances like with Liberace, I was reading about how his publicist said he died of a heart attack but then after the autopsy, they said he died of AIDS-related complications.
GL: And that’s what I think about Mark Robertson.
CB: Got it. And then finally, Richard Idemon who you mentioned died in 1987. There’s other astrologers who also passed away during that time that were gay but may not have died of AIDS like Jim Lewis.
GL: Yeah, we just don’t know.
CB: Because he died of cancer in 1995 but he was only 53 and he was one of the leading astrologers who developed astrocartography and locational astrology. But that’s a really good instance of another one of those people that was pretty high up in the field who passed away much before their time. Yeah, so thanks for preserving some of those names and passing on some of that history, and helping to connect to this generation with that one. I think that’s helped to reconnect things in a really good and productive way.
GL: I have to say, thanks to the late Miss Cunningham who did that AIDS project, Virtual Quilt. A lot of that information and a lot of those names I got from her quilt, okay? From her virtual quilt. Donna Cunningham was one of the first astrologers to actually recognize that these gay men were out there and that they were getting sick and they were dying. And she made that public. So, shout-out to the late Donna Cunningham.
CB: Yeah, for sure. And then you also mentioned thanks to Erin Sullivan and Alan Oken who helped you.
GL: Yeah, I interviewed them, I asked them questions about gay astrologers they knew.
CB: Yeah. But otherwise, I think… And then there’s other astrologers that never came out or that we may never know just because it’s more of a private thing for different astrologers for different reasons.
GL: Yeah, I’m sure there are other astrologers out there who died of AIDS but we don’t know that that’s what happened. We just don’t know.
CB: Yeah, or other astrologers that were gay that didn’t come out but that lived through the pandemic and had similar experiences. Yeah. All right, I think that’s it for this episode then. Thanks a lot for joining me for this.
GL: Okay, thanks. We’ll talk again. Bye.
CB: Thanks, everyone, for watching or listening to this episode of The Astrology Podcast and we’ll see you again next time.
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