Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Fixed Stars in Virgo

Continuing the series of monthly posts on Fixed Stars in each tropical zodiac sign.

Data for Virgo from Astroweb (HERE), showing star positions in 1900 in the left-hand column and in 2000 on the right.

The images below give a rough idea of how some of the Virgo fixed stars are "patterned". Clicking on them should afford a better view. Names of the two constellations Corvus and Crater, being translated, mean crow and cup/chalice respectively. In mythology:

The constellation CORVUS represents the crow or raven who was given a chalice by Apollo and sent to collect the waters of life. Instead of flying straight to his task, the bird spent many days waiting around for the fruit of a fig tree to ripen before eating it. When he did eventually return to his master, he excused his tardiness by claiming that a watersnake had delayed him. Apollo was so annoyed that he cursed the wretched bird with eternal thirst and threw him into the heavens. The cup, CRATER, was also placed there, carefully guarded by the watersnake, HYDRA. (See here)

I'll scribble on about Zosma (on the "hip" of the lion), and Alkes - the latter only briefly - it conjoins my natal Neptune; the former because I've come across it more than once before over the years, while researching posts.

Alkes sits on the bottom right-hand edge of the chalice Crater. Astrologically, according to Constellation of Words

Alkes has always portended eminence to those born under its influence. When rising the star indicates dedicated environmentalists whose love for rivers and streams lead them to be very protective regarding water resources. At a less intense level the native may become a landscape architect, a builder of canals, or in some other manner do business in merchandise connected with water. [Fixed Stars and Judicial Astrology, George Noonan, 1990, p.53.]

OR, from Darkstar Astrology
“This sacred cup is also associated with prophetic ability as various vessels cross-culturally have versions of it. ie: the Holy Grail or the Cauldron of Bran. Therefore Alkes can be a gift, something precious carried by an individual to pass down the generations of the family, like artistic, musical or psychic ability. Alkes’ talent is usually of a Neptunian nature.”

Not particularly fitting for me, except that the star Alkes is conjunct natal Neptune in my chart, so maybe I missed my way as an artist, musician or psychic, and have scribbled on about others, who didn't miss their ways in those spheres, instead.

Onward to Zosma then.

The fixed star commonly known as Zosma (translates as "girdle" "loincloth" or "enzonement") is also known as Delta Leonis or Duhr. It is located in the constellation Leo, on the lion's rump, and lies about 58 light-years from Earth.

Astrologically Zosma is said to be "of the nature of Saturn and Venus". Interpretations indicate a generally negative "vibe": benefit by disgrace, selfishness, egotism, immorality, meanness, melancholy, fear of poison, a shameless and egotistical nature, to keen intellect, loss in childhood, and prophetic ability (the latter links also to another nearby star Coxa). Other interpretations indicate the concept of victim or saviour, stemming from the fact that Zosma lies on the lion's back - that part broken by Hercules in Greek mythology.

I've noticed Zosma in the charts of George Michael, Ann Coulter, blues singer Seth Walker, actor Ralph Fiennes, and Piers Morgan.

Because Pluto is a very slow mover, millions of people, those born from late 1987 to mid-1988, could find Pluto conjunct Zosma in their natal charts. Only when it's linked to personal planets, rather than just to Pluto, is it likely to make itself felt; it could then appear to bring "a certain something" into clearer focus.

Ralph Fiennes Pluto/Zosma links by harmonious trine to his Mercury in Capricorn, and might also link by sextile to Moon in Scorpio, but we can't be sure without time of birth. In this case the Zosma focus seems to be a similar syndrome to George Michael's: a strange need to be caught doing something "naughty". (See my blog post of 2009 HERE)

Ralph Fiennes stirred controversy in February 2007 when staff aboard a Qantas airline flight from Australia to India caught the actor leaving the same airplane lavatory as 38-year-old female flight attendant Lisa Robertson. At first denying any allegations of a mid-air tryst, Robertson later confessed to having unprotected sex in the stall with Fiennes, whom she had met just hours before.

Glen Beck is another individual with Pluto close to Zosma, and opposite Chiron. One of Zosma's traditional interpretations is "loss in childhood".
"His early life was pitted with tragedies. His mother committed suicide when he was 13. One of his brothers-in-law also committed suicide. Another sibling reportedly had a fatal heart attack.
Beck is a self-described reformed alcoholic In the aftermath of those three family tragedies, Beck said he used "Dr. Jack Daniels"and marijuana to cope."
(See my blog post HERE)

Piers Morgan, a former UK newspaper editor, occasionally seen on TV in the USA in various roles, has Mars and Uranus conjunct Zosma. I seem to remember there were hints of disgrace/embarrassment hanging around Mr. Morgan during his newspaper career in the UK. He was eventually fired from UK's Daily Mirror for publishing some faked photographs.

Well far it looks as though Zosma, linked into a natal chart, indicates a person to whom I'd personally like to give a dope slap up the side of the head for managing to blot their copybooks....especially in the case of George Michael who could have been one of the truly greats.

A rapid skim through data available at Astrotheme threw up a handful of others, well-known in the UK and USA, who have Zosma attached to a personal planet. There's no obvious commonality (from what we know of them), other than that they are or have been famous, and would therefore have a goodly share of ego - but that applies to just about anyone who has become famous, Zosma or no Zosma. Shrinking violets seldom seek or achieve fame.

John Travolta (Moon 11.11 Virgo)
Madonna (Moon 11.33 Virgo)
Cass Elliot (Moon 11.56 Virgo)
Freddy Mercury Sun 11/55 Virgo
Astrologer Liz Greene Sun 11.33 Virgo (maybe here the "ability to prophesy" part of traditional interpretation kicks in ?)

I suspect that finding Zosma conjunct or closely aspecting a personal planet will not, alone, be a sufficient indicator for any of the traditional interpretations to "kick-in". There would need to be other supporting evidence in the chart. Zosma, properly positioned, might add weight to an otherwise uncertain potentiality. Planets at or close to 11 Virgo are worth noting!

There's a 2014 piece on Zosma by Milos Tomic at Mountain Astrologer - see HERE.

(Clicking on "Zosma" - last link in the Label Cloud in my sidebar will afford easy access to all Zosma mentions in past posts (2009-2011) including those already linked above.)

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Poem - timely titled

These are some verses from a poem by W.H. Auden. The poem is titled
1 September 1939. It was written more than 75 years ago, with World War 2 waiting in the wings. Much of Auden's poem could still be seen as highly relevant in 2015 (emphasising, though, that I'm not suggesting World War 3 is in the wings this 1st September).

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

Into this neutral air
Where blind skyscrapers use
Their full height to proclaim
The strength of Collective Man,
Each language pours its vain
Competitive excuse:
But who can live for long
In an euphoric dream;
Out of the mirror they stare,
Imperialism's face
And the international wrong.

Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The music must always play,
All the conventions conspire
To make this fort assume
The furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.

All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.

Defenseless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.
Full text of poem HERE.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Music Monday ~ Hugo Montenegro - "The Quadfather"

Hugo Montegro, described (HERE) as "One of the great chameleons of space-age pop, Montenegro could be wild, innovative, swinging, sedate, tame, or mundane, depending on what the contract called for. ......"

He was born on 2 September 1925, in New York City; died in early 1981.

Most will know Montenegro best from his 1968 recording of Ennio Morricone's theme from the classical Sergio Leone spaghetti Western, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, featuring whistling by Muzzy Marcellino. It was an international hit.

He rose to recognition through his work as a film and television composer and introduced the use of synthesizers to movie and television soundtracks. In the early 1970s Montenegro became known in some circles as "The Quadfather", due to his pioneering work in quadrasonic recording. He began to do research into psychoacoustics. He had realized the potential of quadrasonic sound, and believed he could use the technique to create a complete circle of sound, motion in every direction, as well as a feeling of spaciousness. Having discovered the tricks and techniques to composing music for quadrasonic sound he produced the first ever four-channel pop album, Love Theme from the Godfather, hence his nickname "The Quadfather."
Source:See HERE

I'll not dive into his natal chart too far - but will just note a sextile chain linking
Jupiter to Saturn to Sun/Mars to Pluto. I'm not sure what such chains indicate, other than some kind of natural coordination in the native. Perhaps in Montenegro's case, an inbuilt sense of rhythm?

If only Uranus (new ideas) and Jupiter (expansion) were a little closer - close enough to be in sextile, there'd be a nice Yod with its apex at Neptune/Mercury (imagination, creativity, communication). Maybe Moon forms a sextile with Jupiter instead though - not as good but it'd still produce a nice Yod. Without time of birth this remains unknown.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Venus Retrograde in Retrospect

Flicking through my archives, looking back for a spot of inspiration I came across three posts written in August/September of 2007, during a Venus retrograde period (these occur once every 18 months or so). Back in August 2007 I was complaining about delays in getting my US Citizenship application in motion. Delays had, it seemed, occurred due to a huge backlog of applications brought about by an imminent fee hike. The authorities had taken many weeks to even cash my cheque for the fee involved. Anyway, three of my posts at that time focused on this frustration linking it to Venus retrograde. I was especially wishing to achieve US Citizenship in time to vote in the 2008 General Election.

I remind myself that we are, right now, nearing the end of another period of Venus retrograde - and I am, once again feeling frustrated by lack of news, this time about something quite different, but still involving laws and lawyers!

This is what I wrote on 11 August 2007:
I'm trying to follow the advice of astrologers (Jonathan Cainer, for instance) to look back to between late July and early September 1999, when Venus was in retrograde motion in the same part of the zodiac as now, between the latter part of Leo and early Virgo.

Jonathan says:

"Think about the dramas that were being played out in your life, in the lives of those around you, and on the world stage. Now look carefully at what's going on. The details may be different, but in the sentiment and spirit of many a situation, there is an uncanny echo."

That is not as easy as it sounds - not for me, anyway. Life has changed so much, both personally, in the USA, and in the world. If, as astrology teaches, the patterns of life are cyclic, like the movement of the planets ("as above, so below") I'd best steel myself and do as I'm told!

1999 was another lifetime. Before 9/11, before I owned a computer, before my late partner's health slipped into its last slow decline, and of course, before I left the UK. I could, with the benefit of hindsight, see 1999 as the run-up to a gateway, which led to a dark tunnel, through which it became essential to travel before being able to re-emerge into the light. In a way it was the same for the USA, it was just prior to the 2000 election. That election led into years of murkiness, 9/11, Iraq, Katrina, etc. from which the country still hasn't emerged.

It's not that any of those difficulties can be blamed solely, or at all, on poor old Venus retrograde - that would be silly. But I'm trying to see a parallel between what I experienced personally between then and now, and what this country (USA) has experienced. We've both moved on so far since 1999, that I can't begin to envision what, if anything, the current retrograde period might mean as part of a cyclic pattern. I only sincerely hope that it will not in the same league as the cycle which followed 1999! If I'm still around in 8 years' time, when Venus reaches the same point again, - I'll let y'all know how it went.

Hey! Eight years have passed and I'm still around! Yay!!!

My frustrations came to an end, my citizenship application got underway and I did become a US citizen a year later, in August of 2008, and in time to vote in 2008's election.

Snips from the other two related posts of summer 2007:
On 26 August 2007:
One of my current irritations: I posted my application for US citizenship to the appropriate service centre on Thursday 26 July, the day before the current retro period period began. My packet, containing a cheque for $400 and all required enclosures was signed for at USCIS (Texas) on Monday 30 July. To date my cheque has not been cashed. I did expect a longer wait than normal for acknowledgement, due to possible flood of applications trying to avoid July 30's hefty fee increase. I didn't expect such a long wait before someone even got around to opening my packet! My wait for citizenship is looking likely to stretch well into next year, and perhaps even beyond that.

Thanks a bunch Venus retrograde! I wonder if the coming lunar eclipse might help to shake things up - it's going to occur almost opposite my 6 Pisces natal Jupiter.

Looking back to a previous Venus retrograde time, between mid-May and August 2004 - I find, to my surprise, that I was in a comparable situation then ! I'd just mailed my application for a US immigration visa based on my recent marriage to HeWhoKnows. We were both back in England, and feeling anxious that things would get underway quickly so that I could sell my house, pack up and head west. I'm not quite as as anxious about things this time around, but it'd be nice to get my fingerprinting behind me soon, so's we can plan a short trip. Oh - and I really would like to be able to vote in 2008 - it's looking more and more unlikely as weeks go by.

And on 20 September 2007

I'm needing to curb my impatience currently. To date the cheque which accompanied my application for US citizenship, sent to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service on 26 July, almost 8 weeks ago, has still not been cashed. USCIS has issued notices on-line indicating that they have what they call a "front-log" of cases. In normal circumstances cheques are cashed and applications get underway within a week to 10 days of receipt. We've now been told that it's taking up to 90 days to issue receipts due to this front-log.

It'll be interesting to see whether things start to move around the time when Venus reaches 2* Virgo again, the point at which the recent retrograde started, but I shall not hold my breath - even that is far too optimistic an expectation as things are turning out. I must also bear in mind that Mercury will turn retrograde on 12 October, almost dovetailing Venus. Nice! Citizenship in time for the 2008 presidential election is looking ever more unlikely. I'm beginning to wonder why I bothered to apply in the first place. Grumble....grumble.

While my own historical experiences are - well, just my own, I thought, in the interests of astrological research, it could be useful to gather these posts here.

I've now skidded around the net looking for interesting articles on Venus Retrograde in general. These are some good ones:

Venus Retrograde for 2015 by Lynn Koiner.

Venus Retrograde 2015: An Archetypal Journey in Relationship
By Henry Seltzer for Astrograph Astrology.

Venus Retrograde + 8 Year Cycles by Kelly Surtees

Chuckling about a warning, in one of the above, about buying a car during Venus retrograde. We did! It wasn't a new car though and, after a bit of hard haggling, it became a bargain...and that's good for Venus retrograde, so they say. I didn't know that at the time though!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Arty Farty Friday ~ Alexandre Hogue, Artist and Ecologist.

 Howdy Neighbour (1936)
Alexandre Hogue. Who was he? I didn't know. I do now.

Born on 22 February 1898 in Memphis, Missouri, moved with parents to Texas at a young age. A He was, by style, a realist and regionalist painter associated with the "Dallas Nine"; he also taught art in the region. The majority of his works focus on Southwestern and Midwestern landscapes during the time of the Dust Bowl.
From the Wikipedia link above:
Hogue’s mother had a huge influence on his work; she taught him about “Mother Earth,” which became a key concept to most of his paintings, specifically Mother Earth Laid Bare in 1938. Hogue connected the human body to the natural world, recalling his mother’s words that “...conjured up visions of a great female figure under the ground everywhere- so I would tread easy on the ground." In addition, the effects that the Dust Bowl had on the land that Hogue had grown to love had a profound effect on his works

 Erosion #2 - Mother Earth Laid Bare (1935 /1938)

The Modern West: American Landscapes, 1890-1950
By Emily Ballew Neff

Interesting video - just 2 mins and 44 secs.

A few of his paintings (more can be seen via Google Image).

 Drought Stricken Area (1934)

 Red Earth Canyon

 The Crucified Land

 Oil in the Sandhills

From NCBI, here.
Hogue described his work as “psycho-reality,” involving “mind reactions to real situations, not dreams or subconscious.” He converted his thoughts into abstract visual terms, which were stronger than nature itself. In his work Drouth Stricken Area, “The windmill and the drink tub are taken from life,” he wrote. “I worked on that windmill. In fact I was knocked off it by lightning. It was the windmill that was on my sister and brother-in-law’s place―the Bishop Ranch near Dalhart, Texas. The house was strictly my own. I just depicted it so it would be typical of the time…. The placing of a top of a shed coming in front of the tank is strictly a matter of composition. The whole thing is just visually built.”

“Some may feel that in these paintings… I may have chosen an unpleasant subject, but after all the drouth is most unpleasant. To record its beautiful moments without its tragedy would be false indeed. At one and the same time the drouth is beautiful in its effects and terrifying in its results. The former shows peace on the surface but the latter reveals tragedy underneath. Tragedy as I have used it is simply visual psychology, which is beautiful in a terrifying way.”

“I don’t like to be called a ‘regionalist’ or ‘American scene painter,’ or, as Life magazine called me, ‘painter of the Dust Bowl,” proclaimed Hogue even as he urged farmers to cooperate with federal soil conservation efforts. “My paintings are as much a statement of what may happen as what has happened―a warning of impending danger in terms of present conditions...."


No time of birth known, chart set for 12 noon.

Most surprising factor about Hogue's natal chart: no planet in an Earth sign. Perhaps he had an Earth sign rising - if we only knew his time of birth!

He does have a very nice Grand Trine in Air, sharpening his intellectual understanding of environmental matters, and related issues. The Grand Trine can take in Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Pluto and Neptune.

Sun conjunct Venus (planet of the arts) in Pisces speaks of highly sensitive emotion in his artwork. Natal Moon's position isn't known exactly, but would be either in late Pisces or early Aries - and quite possibly in trine to Chiron (known as the Wounded Healer) in Scorpio. That would fit very well!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Police Drones + Open thread

Not much today - just a link to this:
Police Drones Can Fly with Tasers, Tear Gas in N. Dakota,
by Tracy Staedter.

end, a, wedge, of, the, thin - Arrange these words into a common phrase or saying.

OPEN THREAD from here............