Tuesday, August 24, 2010


GUEST POST by Gian Paul

These days, except for historians and archeologists, few people care to know about the times past, when what today has become "normal" still had to come into being, or to be created.

The Chinese characteristically cultivate the Ancients and so do some other civilizations. Only recently did it occur to me that one (and possibly an important) reason to do that may be not just to cultivate memory and respect for one's ancestors, but to further the understanding of how today's world and what we call "our modern minds" function. It's about roots and atavisms. But also about mental and emotional blockages which reach into our future.

And possibly much more than that. Recent findings e.g. show that the biological genome of Jewish people is different from most other white races. Only Italians appear to have similar genetic characteristics. But then the Peninsula at the end of the Roman Empire was populated to what appears to have been by 50% of Jews, or close to that. Gradually they then were converted, mostly by force, to Catholicism. One prominent example being Nostradamus.

This picturesque, Medieval figure was born in Salon (South of France) on December 14, 1503 (ancient calendar) and became famous because of various true predictions he made for the French Royals (Henri II and his spouse Catherine de Medicis). But also because of his acting as a doctor during the then raging bubonic pest, and his prophetic writings. This was a "high event of the Middle Ages", despite Nostradamus being born 51 years AFTER Leonardo da Vinci. An interesting historical overlap. The Medicis were close to the Popes, Leonardo to the then modern (Renaissance) Sforza of Milan. Columbus, another Italian, from Genova, was born around mid September 1451, one year before Leonardo. He discovered the Americas in 1492, October 12, probably, when Leonardo was in full creative swing. Same time.

No doubt that around the year 1500 the world changed dramatically. Shown here is a map for January 1, 1500, noon in Madrid. Probably the most pivotal place of those times.

At the beginning of 1500 Uranus was conjunct Jupiter in Aquarius, quite a position! Pluto was in Scorpio and a few years later going to move into Sagittarius. The notion of "far away places and foreign cultures" so typical of Sagittarius, was soon going to come into full swing! One could even say that Jupiter (who rules Sagittarius) had given the starting salvo for that when in conjunction with Uranus.

Europe's population periodically was decimated in those days if not by wars, so by famine or the plague. News of another world, the Americas, riches (all the gold the Spanish amassed!) created an unexpected opening. But it was not all smooth sailing. Wars, slave trade, extermination of a great many indigenous people, Inquisitions and new religious attitudes (the Reformation) were putting a rapid end to the old, stale European world.

Until another major event, some 250 years later, gave the then predominant colonial thinking a mortal shock. By 1750 or so, Uranus was again in Aquarius, Saturn this time conjunct Pluto, and conjunct to the latter, again in Sagittarius. Uranus had made three full revolutions around the Sun since 1500, Pluto one.

And that's when the world heard of a new economic theory, "The Wealth of Nations" by Adam Smith (left). Royals and feudals in general, the Spanish, but foremost the British and almost at the same time the French, did hardly like that. The "bourgeois" ( the Ben Franklin's, Robespierre's & Co.) of the then world had a new idea: dispense with the
Royals, or at least those who were colonial opressors. So came about the French Revolution, the American Independence and most of Latin America soon followed in this path.

By the time, belatedly, the Russian Czars were toppled by Lenin and his aides, Uranus was again, for the third time in this analysis, in Aquarius, opposed by Saturn and Neptune, and that for sure was not an easy constellation. Full of (justified) hope, but lacking the hedonistic practicality carried around the world by the ideas of Adam Smith. The Neptunian dreams of the oppressed people of Great Russia were soon to be transformed into an experimental ground for dictatorial but impracticable economics. Not leaving any room for people's innate "instinct for money", so well defined by Adam Smith, the Scott from Edinburgh.

Today, Uranus has practically left Pisces without fulfilling the social aspirations he had lately given to many in the USA. We now assist mostly to what Neptune in Aquarius, and still for another 1 1/2 years, has brought about and may still change in peoples' perceptions. Many disillusions for sure: Corporatism, the realization of what is the other side of the coin called globalization, the definite end of the USSR and of the hegemony of the USA over much of the world, the rise of "Big China" , Islamic militancy. And will the EU succeed or not? Serious concerns for the world's economic progress, mitigated by more ecological awareness etc. The list is long.

One might ask: what's really new PSYCHOLOGICALLY from what was the human condition in around 1500, or 1750, or 1917-1919 in Russia? Certainly there is more awareness and information available today and great sensitivity to the many technological advances. But intimately? In the human soul and mind? Much appears still very similar to the past - and who knows to even a much more distant past than the short time span from 1500 till today I've chosen to analyse here.

How did humans feel, hope and fear in the Neolithic age, some 4-5000 years B.C. ? And then during say the Roman Empire, or the time of the invasions by the Barbarians? Difficult for us to imagine today. But certainly these people, our ancestors, struggled as we do now. Always hoping, believing in some new theory or initiative or religion.

Often suffering, and probably a lot, if not from invasions, famine, wars and individual problems like health. poverty etc. Not much different from the present and probably worse. What must it have been then, before all of the progress we now enjoy? Due to a great extent to the efforts of one or the other of our ancestors. Or of all of them, collectively.

So it may do no harm to feel some debt, at least in memory, towards them. These ancestors probably struggled mightily during what one today can cold-mindedly analyse as the effect of such or such a planetary transit. Individually and collectively.

Past times were no doubt more difficult than the ones we are now living. What permitted to cope with greater hardship then, may have been lesser awareness. In consequence, one might have to re-consider and not call barbaric what is seen as such from today's perspective, in many cases, if not in most.

This in fact amounts to a call for more tolerance towards humanity's common past. A possible effect of Neptune in Aquarius, before terminating it's stay there?

(Illustrations: examples of cave paintings found in caves in Lascaux, France(15,000 to 17,000 years old); and Newspaper Rock - an example of petroglyphs found in Utah and other western states of the USA, some from 2,000 years old some from the last few hundred years).


Twilight said...

Interesting thoughts - and facts - GP! I'm always fascinated to look at transits of outer planets from the distance of many centuries, and seeing patterns form.

Thousands of years ago we humans were as roughly modelled clay, but with the same basic emotions we still feel. The centuries have carved us into more intricate, sophisticated beings, physically and emotionally - but basic ingredients have to be in place still, underneath superficial changes.

Gian Paul said...

As all the rest of the universe, humans are as you say "modelled clay" and fit into some grand mechanism of many dimensions - progressively we may even discover some of the secrets. Also astrological keys. And that is progress too.

Thanks for the very expressive illustrations you found, as always.

Astrology Unboxed said...

Interesting proposition, GP! I always loved the idea of going back in time and studying the evolution of human thought. French historians like Philippe Aries, Fernand Braudel and Georges Duby did that brilliantly.
As astrologers we can add the outer planets cycles for a even more in depth analysis of the patterns in human consciousness. This a vast field that has only been scratched by astrologers and philosophers like Rick Tarnas.
I think this is a necessary study and would love to see more articles of this nature.

Gian Paul said...

Fabienne, I have taken note of the historians you mention. Besides Philippe Aries I have not seen the others (not being French myself).

Worth mentioning here is André Barbault, a solid French astrologer (not implying that others are not...). He did some interesting research on historic cycles, linked to the precession of the equinoxes and the 2000/500 and 250 year phases. I simplify. As I left his books in Geneva I can not look up more details right now.

PS Barbault worked without the benefit of computers. So today we should be able to do a lot more than what he could some 50 years ago.

Rossa said...

I read a comment recently that said that "history is just the evolution of thought" so your piece GP illustrates that very well.

I am part of a family that includes a number of "pioneers" from the 19th century including Darwin's publisher (the Murray side), a pair of engineers (Chaffeys) who were involved in the irrigation of the Napa Valley and the Murray Darling Basin both home to famous vineyards. And one of my great grandmothers founded a Baby Welcome centre where babies were weighed, measured and given vaccinations for the first time in England.

I love reading stories about what my ancestors achieved though it also highlights that that sort of exploration and pioneering is no longer achievable in the modern era to the same extent. These people were at the forefront of so much that changed our world. How exciting it must have been to open up new frontiers.

Sometimes I think I was born at the wrong time. 1859 may have been a more interesting time to live in assuming I was fortunate enough to be one of those pioneers. Though maybe it is only pioneering in hindsight rather than at the time.

Gian Paul said...

Hi Rossa, You perfectly describe what I meant by "paying some gratitude to our ancestors". No matter where or of what condition. Easier if they had a prominent role like your's, of course. Astrology can have unsuspected uses, for the curious. Kind of a reward which they deserve for simply searching and wondering.