Hero by Circumstance – The Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Volodymir Zelenskyy is the enigmatic leading actor in the fictitious story of a history teacher, who with the encouragement of his students, ran for president of Ukraine and was surprisingly elected. Real-life then imitated the political satire, Servant of the People,1 when the “comedian” seriously became a candidate in the 2019 presidential elections. The name and theme of the TV series, which ran from 2015 until the election year 2019, was carried over to the party by the campaign team. Zelenskyy phenomenally won the election by 73% of the vote in the second round, defeating the incumbent Petro Poroshenko. Zelenskyy’s on-screen character, President Vasyl Holoborodko, fought against government corruption in the popular series, giving hope to his Ukrainian audience that it would translate into reality when he would become their real-life president. Not only did Zelenskyy succeed in achieving admiration for his service as an actor and activist turned leader of his country, but additionally gained worldwide acclaim for his heroic stewardship of Ukraine during its darkest hours of the horrific war perpetrated by the Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin. 

Zelenskyy has been likened to Winston Churchill and others of stature who exemplified uncommon valor during life’s most challenging eras. The previously obscure president of Ukraine was introduced to the world when he received the notorious phone call to him from former President Donald Trump. The US president sought a quid pro quo with Zelensky if he would investigate Hunter Biden due to his questionable position on the board of the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings. The trade-off would be arms in exchange for information as it was Trump’s hope to uncover a scandal usable against Hunter’s father Joe Biden during the latter’s run for president in the 2020 US presidential elections. Backfiring on Trump, the recorded and then televised phone call of July 25, 2019, became evidence against him leading to his first of two impeachments by the US House of Representatives. In early 2022, Zelenskyy again came before the eyes of the world, when in lieu of running from harm’s way in avoidance of Russia’s invasion, the somewhat inexperienced politician rose grandly to the occasion, asking for more arms to fight the intruder, rather than accept friendly offers to be safely escorted out of his country.

The leader of a nation is the surrogate of the people. They “lend” their horoscope, along with its dynamic aspects2, to the group entity for which they are in charge. Volodymyr Zelenskyy is Ukraine’s president and therefore the surrogate of the people of his country. For better or for worse, his birth chart is used to anticipate existential circumstances synchronously reflected in the mirror of corresponding planetary aspects.

THE NATAL CHART AND SABIAN SYMBOLS3

Zelenskyy has a tight Sun to Venus conjunction which characterizes him as a loving and beloved leader of his people, who knew him first in his parody role and then as the real-life statesman they elected to office. The Sun and Venus are in the exact same zodiacal degree and could be considered Cazimi4, although it is 29 minutes beyond the 17 minutes of arc usually given to any planet that partners intimately with the Sun. The planet in the heart of the Sun becomes superpowered rather than outshined as it is when in normal conjunction with the Sun.

Zelenskyy graduated from Kyiv National Economic University with a law degree in 2000. Venus is associated with law and defines a culture’s value system. Laws are meant to protect and prevent societies from falling into corruption and moral decay. The very high standards Zelenskyy holds dear is a characteristic of the powerful Venus Cazimi, which is also the indicator of his involvement in the art form of storytelling. The Sun and Venus in the 9th house “encouraged” the native’s formal education in law, as well as afforded him the fame and notoriety through co-founding the production company Studio Kvartal 95, and through the various televised programs in which he appeared throughout the years.

However, the most outstanding astrological feature when considering the Sun-Venus Cazimi is its Sabian Symbol. Rounding the conjunction’s zodiacal position to Aquarius 6 reveals the astoundingly literal image of A performer of a mystery play. His acting role as the reformer of corruption and injustice in Servant of the People was in a sense the rehearsal for the part he would play as the bonafide president and prime defender of Ukraine’s integrity. Whether role-playing or as a real-life statesman, Zelenskyy offers to the common citizen, an example of suitable the attitudes needed to carry out the duties required to maintain a healthy and thriving society. The concept of the proper relationship between the individual and their environment is explained perfectly in the following symbol’s description. Zelenskyy performs his Sun’s life purpose, in conjunction with Venusian principles, to bring his 9th house wisdom and understanding within reach of the world where he has become a well-respected leader.

AQUARIUS 6 A performer of a mystery play This is a symbol of the mediating function of the mind as it is called on to interpret the individual and his world to each other, and as the everyday values of experience thereby are heightened in personality on the one side and in life itself on the other. The conventional aspect of reality is found to be a convenient backdrop for man’s self-realization, and his particular characteristics are exalted as variant and ever-stimulating potentialities of living relationship in general. The keyword is SUBTLETY. When positive, the degree is a gift for dramatizing the deeper or real opportunities of human society, and when negative, consistent self-mystification and marked impracticability.

The Moon in Zelenskyy’s chart is poised in opposition to the Sun, and by that positioning, becomes the foundation of the chart’s T Cross that brings natal Uranus into Point focus. The Sabian degree is interesting because it reveals the native’s touch with the public (Moon) through the means of giving instruction, just as his character as a teacher does in Servant of the People. In this symbol, it is the subject of chemistry rather than history as it was in the TV show, but nonetheless, the image of an educator eerily mimics the persona, that for Zelenskyy, manifests in symbol and in life.

LEO 18 A teacher of chemistry This is a symbol of the human mind’s illimitable power for penetrating into the deeper mysteries of an everyday world, and of the growing ambition of man to gain an effective control over all the processes of nature. Here is high organization of the intellectual faculties, and a special skill in the practical adaptation of scientific principles to, commonplace problems. The individual is given a full sense of his creative responsibilities. The keyword is INSTRUCTION. When positive, the degree is exceptional self-confidence and a delight in subjecting all experience to the test of immediate application, and when negative, unintelligent dependence on supposition or rules of the book.

Although now on the defensive, in the war imposed on Ukraine by a hostile Kremlin, Zelenskyy has stepped up to the task with courageous resolve in a manner that far exceeds the normal practice of governing. Mars is the planet that expresses the emotional reaction of resentment and anger if one’s desires and ambitions seem unattainable. If the natural process of initiation fails to accomplish the goal, frustration may lead to states of internal and external struggle, and in some confrontations, outright war can be the result. An early interpretation of the Sabian symbol for 1 degree Leo was A man red to bursting in a determination to get his own way.  In his Sabian Symbols in Astrology, Jones reverts back to the original image, A case of apoplexy, received telepathically by Elsie Wheeler. The original rendition of the symbol reflects the attitude of both Putin and Zelenskyy who are presently at loggerheads. In Zelensky’s case, his personality fits the definition expressed in the body of the text and reveals his present and literal willingness to risk his life rather than thwart his intent to save his country. The Mars factor is particularly important because Saturn and Pluto in transit form oppositions first to progressed Mars and later to its natal position. Zelenskyy, and the entire population of Ukraine, are determined to “get their own way” in these most absurd and challenging times.

The stunning and courageous acts performed by the native and the people of Ukraine are clearly defined by the first and second sentences of the surrogate’s Sabian symbol.

LEO 1 A case of apoplexy This is a symbol of an overwhelming potentiality, and of an ever-pressing necessity for genuine self establishment and personal stability. Implicit in the reversed symbolism is man’s complete lack of inhibition in his everyday make-up, together with his ability to mobilize all his powers and even risk his own existence rather than accept any thwarting of his desires. Here is emphasis on the unbroken continuity between being and doing, or between identity and its continual manifestation of itself. The keyword is IRRESISTABILITY. When positive, the degree is creativity in the day-by-day expression of the self’s real possibilities, and when negative, thoroughgoing self-indulgence and imposition on others.

A Focal Determinator5 of import is the T Cross with Uranus at a 90-degree angle to the Lights that are in opposition. Uranus, the Point Focus of this T Square, is in the Sabian symbol rounded to 17 Scorpio.

SCORPIO 17 A woman, the father of her own child This is a symbol of the eternal conflict between the practical involvements and the ideal potentialities of human nature, as here emphasized in man’s conscious individuality. The soul feels the weight of its transient responsibilities while the indwelling and immortal spirit is sensitive to its need for an enduring place in the scheme of things. The recurrent virgin birth of self is its reconciliation with its world through their common center of reality. The keyword is NUCLEATION. When positive, the degree is an illimitable self-potentiality with effective spiritual or ideal as well as practical or everyday orientations, and when negative, characteristically anarchistic self-sufficiency.

Zelenskyy exemplifies the entire meaning of the symbol, including its negative expression, when he performed as a do-good anarchistic in Servant of the People. Because of that portrayal, he was elected in 2019 to accomplish the same goals as his on-screen character, in an attempt to radically clean up political corruption. People are firm in their expectations of their leaders and Zelenskyy is no exception to that rule. Though he stands out among politicians as a reformer, his somewhat eccentric behavior, prompted by Uranus in Point Focus, caused a tear in the fabric of his usual high-minded conduct, and instead brought a plummet to his ratings in 2021. His carelessness concerning this clandestine matter brought disfavor from colleagues and constituents when his offshore holdings were exposed in the Pandora Papers6 published in October 2021.

ROAD TO THE PRESIDENCY – PROGRESSED MARS STATION

Progressed planetary stations mark the years when great changes are to be expected in a person or nation’s life. Marc Edmund Jones, in his Scope of Astrological Prediction7, defines these dynamic stations as indicating a time for a critical or crucial regrasp of experience, or a “psychological shift in the fundamental course of life.” There were

The ephemeris for 2015 reveals a station of Mars in Zelenskyy’s secondary progressions. The station was effective for approximately five years and synchronous with when the actor transitioned from his roles in light-hearted situation-comedies and dance performances, to go on to tackle a more challenging leading role in Servant of the People. The focus on politics in the TV series led to his decision to seriously run for the presidency in Ukraine’s 2019 elections. The dramatic shift from Zelenskyy’s more superficial self-expression in the arts which included his symbolic role as president in the film and TV series to the actual running of a government is clearly represented by the station of Mars, the planet of Initiative. Truly it was the station of progressed Mars that indicated the end and new beginning of a time in life charged with energy and resolve.

Mars rules the exploration and initiation of potential ventures in the material world but when energies are thwarted the Mars impulse is associated with frustration, resentment, and anger with the possibility of retaliatory measures targeted against the source of stress. For the first thirty-seven years of Zelenskyy’s life, progressed Mars was in retrograde motion, then in 2015, the firey planet stationed to turn direct. The native was now able to release pent-up desires as it could benefit from the planet’s direct motion that gives rise to an existential manifestation of its meaning. At that rare pivotal point, Zelenskyy was face to face with a critical regrasp of experience and opportunity to lay the foundation for his extraordinary rise to power.

Unconventional ways of campaigning were at the heart of Zelenskyy’s run for president. His Sun-Venus Cazimi in the 9th house gave him ease in connecting with the public through remote and virtual social media. Point Focus Uranus also contributed its unique means of communication, when the candidate performed comedic, political routines on YouTube. Filtered into his upbeat virtual messaging were Zelenskyy’s promises to restore the people’s trust in politicians. He expressed the desire to “bring professional, decent people to power” and to “change the mood and timbre of the political establishment.” When elected, he set to work on a restart of the judicial system that was failing and focused on Ukraine’s financial difficulties. This tapped into his knowledge of law and economics. Clearly, the Progressed Lunation along with the basic chart potentials brought forth the quintessential candidate for reconstruction.

TRANSITS TO MARS

Zelenskyy’s Mars in dynamic charting is not limited to the station associated with the years when the native was in his mid to late thirties. There are other significant aspects that include powerful oppositions to progressed and natal Mars from the transits of Saturn and Pluto during the 2019 elections and later in 2022 with the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces. These particular oppositions represent powerful conflicts that cannot be avoided. Once again, the nation must reflect the planetary activity in the leader’s horoscope, and in this case, it has been literally for the worse. The opposition aspects to progressed Mars from transiting Saturn, Pluto, and on the exact day of the invasion from Mars, unfortunately validates the planet’s traditional meaning as the God of War. Another example of Mars showing its propensity for engagement in battle is when former president George W. Bush initiated war in Iraq at the time of transit Pluto’s opposition to the US natal Mars in 2003.

Chart 2 shows Saturn and Pluto in transit opposition to Zelenskyy’s progressed Mars at the time of Ukraine’s presidential elections. The chart’s outer wheel indicates the transits active at the time Zelenskyy was elected to the presidency. The transiting North Node also is conjunct progressed Mars revealing an exciting new era opening up with this candidate running for the highest office in the land.

Chart 3 shows transit Mars, closely followed by transit Venus, exactly opposite progressed Mars at the onset of the war on February 24, 2022. The low approval ratings Zelensky was experiencing at the time, reversed as he gained the full support of the people witnessing his outstanding courage in the face of devastating bombardment.

Beyond Mars as an indicator of conflict, its Sabian symbol shows the character that lies deep within the native’s psyche. When a symbol is prodded into manifestation by dynamic aspects, the astrological event gives rise to a dramatic show of a planet’s potential that otherwise may not be noticed. For Zelenskyy, the symbol of his Mars previously explained, reveals his capacity to rise to any challenge with astounding bravery. The nature of the surrogate’s Mars, and the recent aspects to it, are reflected in the population with their extraordinary fortitude in response to their formidable attackers.

THE PROGRESSED LUNATION

Major redirections in life occur when the progressed Moon, traveling at one degree per month, catches up with the progressed Sun moving at the speed of one degree per year. It is a progressed to progressed aspect called a Progressed Lunation or Progressed New Moon. This highly demanding progression of the Moon to the Sun occurs at 30-year intervals and is the harbinger of an imminent turning point in a person’s or nation’s life direction. Much like real-time monthly lunations, the progressed meeting of the Lights identifies when transitional seed ideas are conceived and later materialize into a fresh cycle of experience. The duration of adjustment to significant change encouraged by dynamic lunations is approximately four years, with influences being noticeable two years prior to the lunation’s exact aspect, with developing circumstances coming to fruition within a similar passage of time thereafter.

Zelenskyy announced his candidacy on December 31, 2018, soon after the progressed Moon entered the 10th house. The Moon represents one’s emotional engagement with others, while the 10th house relates to positions of power and authority. The timing of Zelenskyy’s decision to venture into unfamiliar circumstances was the result of the Progressed Lunation which was well within the time orb of its effectiveness.

Zelenskyy was elected about a year and a half before the exact Progressed Lunation. Throughout the time the Lunation was forming Transit Neptune was within orb of a conjunction with the progressed Sun.  The slow-moving Neptune greatly amplified the significance of the imminent Lunation, pointing to the authoritative responsibilities that would soon be thrust upon the native through the presidency. Neptune was in retrograde motion and only one degree beyond the exact Lunation’s degree at 18 Pisces 10. It moved backward toward the merging Progressed Lights and stationed on the Lunation’s exact degree to the minute on November 29, 2020. This adds exceptional meaning and power to the Lunation and shows the profundity of Zelensky becoming the candidate who would lead Ukraine through its yet unseen but eventual challenging future. 

The difficulties Zelenskyy would come to address were far greater than what he faced as an actor and producer. The shift from relative obscurity to power and influence synchronizes perfectly with the pivotal indication of the Progressed New Moon. The Lunation corresponded with numerous proposals for the reconstruction of government policies.

The exact Lunation occurring on September 19, 2020, made that particular year critical in accomplishing campaign promises, as well as dealing with unforeseen and demanding issues that included wildfires within Ukraine’s borders, with one threatening the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone. There were floods, terrorist attacks, two airline crashes, and an oil tanker catastrophe, with all of these difficulties accompanied by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the most disappointing results were concerning the war in the Donbas region of Ukraine. The issue brought Zelensky face to face with Vladimir Putin yet in spite of his attempts to end the conflict it became a major point of contention in the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

TRANSITS SATURN AND PLUTO

The long-term transits of slow-moving Saturn and Pluto correspond to the war waged on Ukraine by Russian forces initiated on February 24, 2022, at 4:50 am in Kyiv8. There are numerous meanings to any planetary aspect whether among natal configurations themselves or from progressed and transits to natal positions. The aspects from transiting Saturn and Pluto to the surrogate leader’s horoscope describe clearly the challenges that these sometimes ominous planets represent.

Transit Saturn was opposing Zelenskky’s natal Moon when Vladimir Putin gave the command to invade Ukraine under false pretenses. This completely overshadowed all aspects of Zelenskyy’s daily life, as ruled by the Moon. On June 5, 2022, transiting Saturn will station at 25 Aquarius 15. It will be in opposition to Zelenskyy’s natal Saturn in the 4th house, perhaps necessitating a major shift in basic operations that the nadir represents. Planetary stations are periods when from the Earth’s perspective, other orbiting planets appear to cease movement and change from direct to retrograde or from retrograde to direct. They present significant turning points in internal and existential circumstances when conjunct or opposite natal planets. They point to specific times when a critical regrasp of experience must be acknowledged. Transit Saturn retrogrades in 2022 until October 23, when it will station to go direct at 18 Aquarius 35. This may have a powerful effect on the coming situation because it is one degree from an exact opposition to Zelenskyy’s natal Moon.

Transit Saturn’s presence at the most elevated point in the chart will emphasize the leadership role Zelenskyy plays for the next few years. This elevated and thus highly focused transit, including its aspects to natal planets, reveals the overshadowing responsibility thrust upon the figurehead and surrogate, especially in the midst of devastating provocation. On February 25, 2023, transit Saturn will be exactly opposite its own natal position. This portends the time of an assessment of defeats as well as accomplishments in terms of the overall effects of war.

The ultra-slow transit of Pluto is approaching its opposition to Zelenskyy’s natal Mars and is within the 5-degree orb generally given for a transit9. Influences of the outer planets can be felt far in advance of their exact aspects because they are indicators of long-term developments in the scheme of things. They play the continuous, unrelenting base notes that are supportive of the faster-moving planets’ expression of more imminent and intimate details of everyday life.

Pluto is a fundamental factor in recent Ukrainian history corresponding to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.  That particular act of aggression was just one beat among the many measures of the long-developing rhythm of war in Ukraine. Zelenskky’s horoscope does not figure into initial conflicts because he was not president in 2014.

Aside from an astrological evaluation of the surrogate of a nation, it is important to include the dynamic aspects occurring in the chart of Ukraine.10 This contributes to the overall picture of the all-important transit of Pluto hovering back and forth over Ukraine’s natal Neptune during the Maidan Revolution. The comparison of Ukraine’s horoscope with that of its president is also enlightening.

Crossties are useful when comparing horoscopes between marriage or business partners or between siblings, or parents with their children. It is also possible to get a glimpse into the compatibilities between a nation and its leaders, whether the president or other government officials, as well as between individual citizens and their nation. There are four crossties between the national chart of Ukraine and its president. This shows there is an intimate tie defined by the planets involved. Two of the aspects involve the sensitive yet sustaining force of Saturn, and the other two simulate the planetary pair of Significance11, Uranus, Neptune, and supernumerary Pluto. There are charts that lack these types of contacts showing that there often is little connection, allying one to the other separate entity. There would be more effort involved in communications with this missing magnetic attraction. With four strong ties within a one-degree orb allowance, it shows Zelenskyy to be wholeheartedly engaged with his country and vice versa.

Zelenskyy’s chart shows noteworthy activity when Pluto will transit in opposition to his natal Mars in 2023. Transit Pluto will station opposite Mars on and off for the duration of the long-term transit which may foretell either continuing conflicts ahead or may indicate the time for civic reconstruction.

Looking into the past, there are the progressed Mars station of 2015 and Progressed Lunation of 2020 that marked significant dynamic indicators of unprecedented change for the people of Ukraine. Transits Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto all play important roles in the country’s destiny.

THE WAY HOME

There is one strong Crosstie linking the natal Moons in an opposition aspect from Zelenskyy’s natal chart to the chart of the United States. The polarizing feature of the aspect draws the two nations together in an intense relationship as long as Zelenskyy remains in power. The bond became stronger and proved its virility through the coordination of the Pluto Return12 of the United States and the first day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The first of a series of conjunctions from transit Pluto to the US natal Pluto occurred on February 22, 2022, just two days before Russia invaded Ukraine of February 24. The US has been instrumental in arming Ukraine, as well as rallying NATO countries to cooperate and to supply humanitarian aid, armaments, and general support in defense of the citizenry as it endures an onslaught of relentless bombardment.

The world is often deprived of inspirational, political leadership, yet without conscious intent, Volodymyr Zelenskyy answered that need to the satisfaction of those who have hope for real change to prevail in the democratic lean of Ukraine. As the nation’s surrogate, Zelenskyy exemplifies a diligent servant of the people, and his steadfast response is simply the manifestation of the vision and character of the people of Ukraine themselves. He is the people’s choice and representative whom they entrusted with the almost impossible mission to rid corruption from their government and to set the country on a brighter path. Unfortunately, the evil intentions from without have interrupted Ukraine’s peaceful attempts at transformation indicated most profoundly in Zelenskyy’s chart by the responsibilities he accepted during his Progressed Lunation.

The sacrificing masses involved in the revolutions of 2004 and 2014 show a characteristic fortitude and willingness of the people to die for their cherished beliefs. Zelenskyy, as a young man during these times, was primed for the job of leading the country so often challenged for its very existence. Thanks to the courageous youth of both the Orange and Maidan Revolutions the way is being paved for a democracy that is free from the worn-out shackles of the Soviet Union that may only vanish with the end of Vladimir Putin himself. In a free society, leaders represent what lies deep in the hearts of those who are empowered to elect them. Volodymyr Zelenskyy has proven himself to be a true servant of the people of Ukraine, both in times of peace and in times of his country’s greatest need for courageous leadership.

I really want you not to hang my image in your offices, Zelensky said to parliament members during his inauguration speech. Hang photos of your children there, and before every decision, look them in the eye. 

 

 

1. The political party: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Servant_of_the_People

The TV series:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Servant_of_the_People_(TV_series)#:~:text=Servant%20of%20the%20People%20(Ukrainian,high%2Dschool%20history%20teacher%20in

2. Dynamic aspects are transits and progressions to natal planets.

3. The Sabian Symbols in Astrology by Marc Edmund Jones – Sabian Publishing Society – Stanwood Washington

4. Cazimi, Essentials of Astrological Analysis by Marc Edmund Jones – Sabian Publishing Society – Stanwood Washington, pp. 275, 299

5. Focal Determinators, Essentials of Astrological Analysis by Marc Edmund Jones – Sabian Publishing Society – Stanwood Washington,  Chapter 4, p. 192

6. Pandora Papers: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/10/4/pandora-papers-ukraine-leader-seeks-to-justify-offshore-accounts 

and, https://www.wilsoncenter.org/blog-post/just-all-others-end-zelensky-alternative

7. Scope of Astrological Prediction by Marc Edmund Jones – Sabian Publishing Society – Stanwood Washington, p. 49

8. Time of the invasion:  The Economist Interview with Zelenskyy

9. Transit orbs are decided by the Astrologers’ personal discretion.

10. Ukraine horoscope can be found at astro.com

11. Planetary Pairs,  Essentials of Astrological Analysis by Marc Edmund Jones – Sabian Publishing Society – Stanwood Washington. Chapter 3, p. 108

12. US article on Pluto Return: http://planetarydynamics.com/2021/06/24/birth-and-remaking-of-america-the-pluto-return/

The Devil is in the Astrological Details – Putin’s Obsession with Power

It is fitting that Vladimir Putin has several planets in and at the cusp of the 12th house because hidden operations were and still are the autocrat’s modus operandi. The Soviet Union’s KGB is typical of behind-the-scenes activity as the 12th house represents. Putin’s sixteen years of experience as a foreign intelligence officer laid the ground for his continuous political positions in the background of affairs and later in the public eye.

Putin’s planets in the 12th house relate to his clandestine plans to usurp his “enemies” by one means or another. He silenced the truth by taking over all Russian media and is known for his murderous attacks on his political opponents. His invasion of Ukraine holds the entire world hostage with the careless brandishing of his nuclear arsenal.  Yet he underestimated the resistance coming from the free world and Western democracies now united around a courageous Ukraine. Even numerous Russian soldiers have awakened to the fact they are hapless pawns in the autocrat’s ruthless attack on Ukraine.

PROGRESSED NEPTUNE

The tendency to be self-deceived and the practice of deceiving others is easily seen by progressed Neptune conjunct natal Mercury, the planet of mind and communication.

Rarely do the outer slow-moving progressed planets merge in aspect with natal planets. When they do, attention surely must be paid. Neptune, in Putin’s progressions, is just minutes beyond its exact conjunction with natal Mercury. This dynamic (1) conjunction reveals his concentration on the Mercurial, detailed tactics going on deep within the dark recesses of his unfathomable subconscious. The progression is ultra-slow and points to the painstaking years of Neptune’s effects in the expansion of the native’s delusions of grandeur that is now coming out of the 12th house closet.

Neptune is often associated with the upliftment of spirit through faith and the belief in beneficent higher powers. The planet includes a concern for the welfare of the community along with a strong sense of belonging and wholeness. When negative, one can be lost in an impractical world where a clouded vision leads to escapism through drugs, alcohol, and at times through the opposite pole in an egotistical sense of superiority. Such is the case in this progression in the sign of Libra which normally is synonymous with balance and harmony. However, when out of balance, the sign is conflict-oriented and can be outright contentious. The authority associated with Neptune then becomes autocracy.

The 12th house reveals hidden enemies while the 7th house indicates open enemies in direct warfare. In Putin’s war, Neptune is associated with a capacity to fabricate outlandish deceptions and lies to control the narrative about the intent of the use of force that led to the open attack on Ukraine. The autocrat sowed confusion among his military forces and planted propaganda in the vulnerable minds of Russian citizens.

To add to the drama of the Neptune to Mercury conjunction is the Progressed Mercury station turning direct in 2016 (see ephemeris graph below). Corresponding to this forward-going indicator is the invasive interference with the US presidential elections of the same year. The green line underlines the present age of the native. The red circled station-direct of Mercury, at 0 Sagittarius 16, is clear astrological evidence of Russia’s infiltration through cyberspace of the US presidential elections documented in the Mueller Report. (2)

PROGRESSED JUPITER – TRANSIT URANUS

In their negative manifestation the progressed and transit aspects, active on February 24, 2022, drove Putin out of his 12th house subjectivity and onto the 7th house battlefield. Progressed Jupiter, at the onset of the full-scale invasion, was exact to the minute at 11 minutes and 42 seconds in opposition to natal Venus. The intensified polarization, of the normally benefic planets, activated the wide orb T Cross to Pluto at the midheaven. This initiated an act of Plutonian domination in its most destructive manifestation that shook the world to its foundations. This tension-producing progression was further amplified through the transit of agitating Uranus applying in conjunction with it and in opposition to Venus within 15 minutes of exactitude.

PROGRESSED MARS – TRANSIT SATURN

A focus on the Nadir also shows a combination of dynamic aspects working together in conjunction with the North Node. Transit Saturn and progressed Mars were both conjunct the North Node in the initial days of the invasion. Both are edging ever closer to an opposition to elevated Pluto. Saturn acts in a more immediate way because the transit moves far faster than progressed Mars. Transit Saturn moves on to oppose natal Pluto on April 9, 2022. It stations to go retrograde on June 5 at 25 Aquarius 15 and returns to an opposition to Pluto in early August. On October 23 it goes direct opposite Pluto at 18 Aquarius 35. In late December 2022 – early January 2023, Saturn is exact again in its final opposition in the series of tense aspects with natal Pluto. Saturn’s proximity to Putin’s 4th house cusp brings attention to the establishment of new territorial boundaries.

NATAL PLUTO – POINT AND HIGH FOCUS

The longer-term progressed Mars follows Saturn’s advances but takes approximately four years to complete. First, it will enter Putin’s 4th house before it reaches its ominous, exact opposition to natal Pluto due in 2026-2027 (see Dec. 1952 ephemeris). This is highly significant because Pluto is the natal Point Focus of the T Cross between the foundational opposition of Venus and Jupiter. Pluto becomes the opposition’s outlet for any stresses and is intensified by it being elevated and in a very tight conjunction with the Midheaven. These factors make Pluto High Focus as well Point Focus. For someone in politics wanting to make a great impression on the world, this is Putin’s greatest ally. Unfortunately, the use of his powers has been for the suppression of rights and freedoms of the people he rules and leads to the capacity in its most negative expression as the instigator of brutal slaughter imposed on innocent men, women, and even children.

As the surrogate leader of the Russian Federation, everyone in the country is subject to Putin’s chart with its planetary aspects. They must experience along with him the constructive initiatives he has put into action that improved the economic situation in his early political career, but it also points to the people inheriting the effects of the extreme sanctions now placed upon the country as a punitive measure. A sudden rise to power followed by a great fall often is the signature of Pluto at the Midheaven.

The potential for a fall from power could be anticipated with transit Saturn on its way in opposition to natal Pluto. Or at the very least a loosening of the grip of an uncontrollable obsession with power which is the signature sign of a Pluto gone awry. A more enlightened leader could have used the planet’s transformative qualities to guide his people toward a truly inspiring way of life and dedication to truth. However, in Putin’s case, the direction his leadership has taken has been a spiraling down over the years to the end where coming out of chaos may be impossible under his rule.

CONNECTED ASTROLOGICAL INFLUENCES AND SABIAN SYMBOLS

  • Transit Saturn conjunct Nadir, opposite natal Pluto 2022 – 2023
  • Progressed Lunation July 31, 2023
  • Progressed Lunation conjunct natal Mars July 31, 2023

The Sabian symbols shed great light on the inner workings of a native’s psyche. Saturn in the natal horoscope is in close connection with Putin’s natal Sun, making for a hypersensitivity that compensates through sheer shrewdness that results in building a fortress of justification aimed at the protection of the self. Under the veil of confidence, there is a suggestion of guilt in the consciousness as shown by Saturn’s symbol Libra 18, Two men placed under arrest. There is the possibility that during the Saturn transit, accountability could be enforced for the war crimes Putin perpetrated against the people of Ukraine.

The keyword for Libra 18 is CONSEQUENCE. When positive, the degree is a heightened challenge to every special talent, and when negative, total inappropriateness of impulse and act.

As transit Saturn comes to its conjunction with the Nadir throughout 2022 and into 2023, the traditional 4th house “End of the Matter” may take hold. Especially while there is the opposition to natal Pluto with attention existentially on Putin’s war crimes by a world fully conscious of his abominable acts.

PROGRESSED LUNATION

A supportive and powerful, astrological indication for the possibility of a dramatic outcome and finale for Putin’s atrocities is the imminent Progressed Lunation exact on July 31, 2023. It is normal for a Progressed Lunation to indicate an extreme life-redirection. The actual time-orb of influence of the progressed to progressed Lights is a year and a half before and after the actual exact aspect. Considering its wide orb allowance, Putin’s future is already being influenced by this dynamic aspect foretelling a great transition.

The meeting of the progressed Lights marks the completion of a past cycle, ultimately making way for the beginning of the next. The unexpecting native will encounter a need to leave behind patterns of behavior to which he is accustomed, and to go forward with what is likely to encompass a vague and unpredictable future. The aspect list shows the core dates of the second of the three possible Progressed Lunations that can occur in Putin’s lifespan.

The progressed Lights are traveling through Putin’s 2nd house of economic affairs revealing that the heavy sanctions, among other factors, placed upon the country may very well be his and his country’s downfall. This is an objective crisis associated with the dynamic Lunation revealing one of the serious life-changing circumstances Putin and his people are destined to encounter.

Circled in orange in the ephemeris graph of December 1952 shows progressed Mars pointing to when in four to five years the ominous opposition to Pluto will be exact.  Mars in its natal expression is very telling in its Sabian symbol Sagittarius 27, A sculpture.

The keyword for Sagittarius 27 is IMMORTALIZATION. When positive, the degree is exceptional self-expression through a gift for building all experience into a personal fulfillment, and when negative, callous impersonality and overambitious pretensions.

More significantly, the Progressed Lunation of 2023 will directly conjunct natal Mars, giving it an intense boost of energy. First, the Progressed Lunation will tightly conjunct natal Mars, then progressed Mars will take that seeded aspect-event to an opposition with natal Pluto a few years hence. The Lunation conjunct natal Mars foretells of a 2nd house total reordering of the Russian economy. Progressed Mars, later at the Nadir and opposite Pluto, may just be what it takes astrologically to bring the autocrat to his knees since the astrological activity occurs at the lowest point in the chart.

Here, it is likely that any immortalization will reflect the negative expression of the Mars degree. In lieu of a more positive manifestation of the chart, we have a tragic waste of life potentials shown in this otherwise extremely promising horoscope with two T Crosses*, one to the powerful, elevated Pluto and the other to a stellium that includes the natal Sun. In place of enjoying a gratifying summation of his life’s work, the dictator leaves a deep and unfortunate footprint of havoc behind him in the world. Putin’s reputation is forever tarnished and he will go down in history as one whose evil acts brought him his own demise, and at the same time lifted his adversary, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, to the status of a hero. Putin managed to unite almost the entire world against him, all for what the negative expression of his Pluto Sabian symbol lays bare. Leo 23, A bareback rider. (3)

The keyword for Leo 23 is AUDACITY. When positive, the degree is uncompromising courage in the everyday business of living and a carefree assurance in meeting the problems of a modern society, and when negative, idle self-display and intemperate desire for applause.

 

(1) Dynamic Aspects are the transits and progression of the planets as they activate the natal chart’s configurations.

(2) Full title: Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election

(3)  Blog post discussing Putin’s Pluto degree and his relationship with Donald Trump in connection with their conjunction between Putin’s Saturn and Trump’s Jupiter:  http://planetarydynamics.com/2018/09/29/putin-and-trump-the-symbol-minded/

*Two T Crosses shows the native’s tendency to shift from this to now that focus, often confusing observers of this capacity to switch on and off and appear inconsistent.

 

 

Planets and Their Effects on Mind and Body

The Solar System is a closed unit of interrelating electromagnetic fields. The components of these fields are defined by the eight individual planets along with the two Lights – the Sun and Moon. A planet is the visible core of matter/energy/intelligence, similar to an atom whose protons and neutrons are orbited by electrons that produce electrical impulses. They act as coded waves perpetually traveling through space with their focus on encompassing the entire solar system including life on earth. The fields interact among themselves to coalesce into a complex messaging system. It is the astrologer’s task to decode their intent and purpose.

The emanation of the intelligent, magnetic fields permeates the entire solar system and the earth becomes immersed in its collective energies. The effects of these interacting forces are felt strongly when planets align at geometric angles in relationship to natal planets. In astrological terms, these configurations are called major aspects. The five geometric angles of import are the conjunction, sextile, square, trine, and opposition. They are defined when the planets are 0, 60, 90, 120, and 180 degrees apart, yet have a 10-degree orb of allowance for the planets, 12.5 for the Moon, and 17 degrees for the Sun. The electromagnetic fields are spherical and three-dimensional.

The human body acts as an antenna absorbing the planetary emanations through the energy centers of the body also known as the chakra system. These energies are usually felt as pressure within the body and mind, similar to when the opposite poles of a magnet are exposed to each other but not yet actually touching. This physical pull is often misinterpreted as an illness and can be accompanied by anxiety when the ego intends to avoid or suppress their emotional and bodily feelings. As planets move into exact aspects they act as indicators of a time for personal growth. They are communicating in an astrological, geometric language that astrologers can interpret for a person seeking to understand their meaning. It is the fast-moving progressions and the slow-moving transiting planets that are the causes of these periodic crises in consciousness. The planets seek to gain the attention of the native in this often stressful and disturbing manner, leaving the experienced astrologer to interpret the planetary dynamics for the client. Planetary activities seek to integrate higher intelligence into the native’s life experience.

Nathan Chen, An Astrological Perspective of an Olympic Champion

Here are the astrological indicators assisting Nathan Chen to become the world’s best figure skater. Especially interesting are the transit and progressed aspects contributing to his stellar rise in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. His grace and sensitivity toward others, along with the high degree of disciple displayed by the champion are revealed astrologically through his noteworthy, natal Sun-Saturn conjunction.

Jupiter is known for its reputation for donning good fortune upon those who deserve it. Years of hard work and consistent effort can be tracked by slow-moving, progressed Jupiter as it inched its way toward its conjunction with natal Mercury in Aries, effective until late 2028. At the same time, progressed Mars is poised in opposition to Mercury’s natal position, giving power and energy to every detail of any performance whether in the Olympic challenge or in everyday activities. Progressed Mars will Station Direct within 7 minutes of arc of the mercurial planet on November 3, 2028, pointing to that particular year as pivotal in Chen’s life and career. (more about progressed stations)

During the Olympics, that stunning and complex, dynamic configuration is amplified by the progressed Moon as it leaves its two-month square with natal Uranus. Transit Saturn also figures into the picture, as it urges natal Uranus to reach beyond any limitations the native experienced in the 2018 Olympic games.

Chen’s birth chart is a Locomotive temperament, with Mars in the 1st degree of Scorpio Leading and becoming the source of the intensity of sensuality and smooth mannerisms displayed by the young man as he “dances” on ice.

The natal Saturn-Mars opposition has its outlet in the form of a T-Cross with Neptune manifesting the ethereal aura the skater also exudes either on or off the ice. Attention needs to be paid to the upcoming and exciting aspect of transit Pluto passing over the powerful Point Focus Neptune. This easily predicts Chen’s future involvements in competitions and perhaps even performances on an entertainment level following his grand and gold achievement in 2022. Transit Pluto will hover over natal Neptune for at least four years to make skating almost a Neptunian responsibility to the public whose thirst for more should be satisfied with an encore from the King of Quads.  

Other astrological events are to be expected from the progressions. The Progressed Sun will move into its opposition to natal Pluto from 2024 to 2026. This anticipated magnetic progression poses the personal self in balance with the public’s attention to assure continuing drama around the man who has made it to the top of his field so early in life.

Unfortunately, we do not have a birth time for Chen’s horoscope, so we have to lean more upon the aspect activity and sign function of the planets rather than on house circumstances. The powerful Locamovtive pattern, complete with its T-Cross fills in the gaps when relying only on planetary relationships separate from their placements around the wheel.

Discovering Hidden Astrological Influences

The Examination of the Sharp and Loose Destiny and Progressed Planetary Stations

The Sharp or Loose Destiny aspects present in a natal chart, and planetary stations in secondary progressions, are among the powerful yet little-known techniques available in the practice of astrological analysis. An examination of the horoscope of Czech-born psychiatrist, Stanislav (Stan) Grof, will illustrate how his Sharp Destiny and progressed Uranus station provide penetrating insight into one of the most profound existential events of his lifetime.

During his residency, at Charles University in Prague, Grof assisted in experimentative LSD sessions with volunteer professionals as well as his own clinical patients. Ampules of LSD were sent from Sandoz laboratories in Switzerland to the Psychiatric Research Institute in Prague, and to research clinics worldwide, for the purpose of having psychologists, experience from the LSD, what chemist Albert Hofmann believed to replicate the states of mind suffered by psychiatric patients.

Upon graduation in 1956, Grof was able to experience his own LSD session where he discovered the unconscious to be a treasure-trove of personal and archetypal knowledge and a powerful ally for psychological and emotional healing. The event’s transformative effects diminished his regard for traditional precepts of psychiatry which he then replaced with a quest for a deeper understanding of what he calls “non-ordinary states of consciousness.” Grof’s immersion into the depths of mind through psychedelics and intense breathing techniques inspired him to formulate his theories on transpersonal psychology and to establish his therapeutic, drug-free Holotropic BreathworkTM practice.

Experimentation with LSD was legal until rebellious youths of 1960s America used the substance irresponsibly. Timothy Leary, the controversial Harvard University psychology professor, was among the revolutionaries who encouraged the wide use of the mind-expanding agent. During that time the misuse of LSD was the cause of many casualties on the way to its becoming the requisite sacrament for the more serious-minded nonconformist.

Chemist Albert Hofmann, who first synthesized LSD, wrote of his creation:

I was aware that LSD, a new active compound with such properties, would have to be of use in pharmacology, in neurology, and especially in psychiatry, and that it would attract the interest of concerned specialists. But at that time, I had no inkling that the new substance would also come to be used beyond medical science, as an inebriant in the drug scene. Since my self-experiment had revealed LSD in its terrifying, demonic aspect, the last thing I could have expected was that this substance could ever find application as anything approaching a pleasure drug.1

Aside from its use as a “pleasure drug” as Hofmann put it, LSD also had a nurturing effect on society in contrast with its labeling by the mainstream as a threat to the establishment. Through the provocative LSD experience, Americans were exposed to lifestyle alternatives that included communal living with greater accessibility to healthier foods and natural healing methods. More significantly, it ignited the pursuit of spiritual truths explained in Eastern philosophies and introduced the practice of yoga and meditation. LSD was the chemical agent that opened a channel for the energy/intelligence of the powerful planetary conjunction of Uranus with Pluto throughout a major portion of the 1960s.

Stan Grof “turned on and tuned in” but he did not completely “drop out” as did his American counterparts Timothy Leary, who popularized the slogan, and Richard Alpert, aka Baba Ram Dass, who wrote Be Here Now, which became the counterculture’s guidebook. Instead, in 1967, Grof was accepted at John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, and later became chief of psychiatric research at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center where he continued investigating the virtues of LSD. In 1973, Grof met with one of the founders of Esalen Institute who then invited him to serve as scholar-in-residence at the institute in Big Sur, California. It was during his residency that he and his wife Christina developed their Holotropic Breathwork techniques.

Albert Hofmann visited Esalen Institute in 1984. Grof interviewed the notable chemist and expressed his gratitude in the following statement:

“Dr. Hofmann’s discovery of LSD and his work, in general, have had a profound impact on my own professional and personal life, for which I am immensely grateful. My first LSD session in 1956, when I was a beginning psychiatrist, was a critical landmark and turning point for me and since then, my life has never been the same. So, this interview gives me the opportunity to express my deep appreciation and gratitude to Dr. Hofmann for the influence he has had on my life.2

On a Tim Ferris podcast interview,3 Grof candidly described the results of his first LSD session:

“I was one kind of person in the morning, another walked out of there in the evening. This was my first LSD session . . .   I was physically open to the mystical world that I saw there. It was a much deeper understanding . . .”

GROF’S TRANSFORMATION IN ASTROLOGICAL TERMS

Grof’s description of his unexpected and radical life-path transition is associated with two significant astrological factors. They are the Sharp Destiny present in his natal chart and the station of Uranus in his secondary progressions. The “hard” and “easy” major aspects between Jupiter and Saturn categorize a native as either endowed with a Sharp or Loose Destiny.4

The Sharp Destiny

When Jupiter and Saturn are in challenging conjunction, square, or opposition aspect, the life direction is defined as fateful or “Sharp.” Experience is guided by a narrowed course with strict adherence to discriminating conscience and a lean toward intense self-scrutiny. (If the indicators form the easier sextile, trine, or are not in major aspect, the destiny is “Loose” and suggests a minimal concern over moral considerations of right and wrong.)

In The Essentials of Astrological Analysis, renowned astrologer Dr. Marc Edmund Jones formulates the contrasting ways consciousness manages its personal conduct. In metaphysical terms, he explains the difference between the two forms of psychological outlook:

The fundamental distinction is between the life with its course rather well determined at birth or before, and the one where there is little preset in its development.5

In Grof’s birth chart, the relationship between Jupiter and Saturn is the opposition of the two and classifies the native’s conscious functioning in accordance with a Sharp Destiny. This is self-awareness in its most alert capacity with Jupiter the indicator of unrestricted, enthusiastic outreach poised in direct balance or conflict with Saturn and its tendency for deliberate control of attitude and behavior. Jones speaks of the opposition as foretelling self-development and heightened awareness, often occurring as a result of polarized circumstantial factors:

Jupiter and Saturn in opposition aspect indicate an ordering of life’s fundamental motives through which the native is usually compelled to dramatize himself continually in the presence of his fellows, at least if he wishes to participate with them in any course of everyday experience. This necessity often tends to throw a given lifetime into two entirely separate periods, with the latter revealing greater depth and continuity of realization, as perhaps an unsuspected consequence of the mirroring it has given itself through some more superficial role-playing in the former. There may be either a prodigal expenditure of the self’s resources, with their ultimate recapture in a refinement of soul, or a moral vacillation that accentuates every weakness of character, and so encourages a surrender to a final and hopeless ineptitude.6

Grof was and is clearly subject to dramatic and periodic change through the Sharp Destiny’s influence in his chart. His formative years were spent with ambitions for a career in film animation which took an abrupt turn when introduced to Freud’s work in psychoanalysis. Grof, however, eventually rejected psychology’s conventional approach, thanks to his encounter with the transformative attributes of LSD.

The Jupiter-Saturn opposition encourages metamorphosis when transiting planets conjunct either end of the aspect’s poles or when progressions make any “hard” contacts with it. A thorough probe into the dates of activation throughout Grof’s lifespan is beyond the scope of this brief study, however, an astrologer’s independent search of the dynamic aspects7 to the opposition could further validate the influence of the Sharp Destiny in the native’s life.

Progressed Uranus Station

Thorough chart analysis usually includes spotting current transits of the outer, slow-moving planets that activate natal potentials dramatically and over long periods of time. However, sole attention on real-time planetary movements is not sufficient for the comprehensive identification of the forces at play at precise times of significant events. This was the case in Grof’s life and chart at the time of his exposure to the powers of LSD. In mid-November 1956, the transits of Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto failed to make either a conjunction or opposition aspect to any planet in Grof’s natal horoscope. Transits Saturn and Neptune were in square to natal placements during this crucial time, however, squares reveal a more remote or subjective struggle rather than direct aspect connections by conjunctions and oppositions when identifying the connections of celestial forces with empirical reality.

The often-neglected secondary progressions are of paramount importance when seeking to identify astrological indicators of consequential shift. They are powerful corresponding activators in the life process, and it is during the years when progressed planets reverse their direction that great modifications in experience are to be expected. When planets pause in their course to turn from retrograde to direct or vice versa, existential circumstances will mirror the progressed planet’s reversal in direction, producing what Jones defines as a time set apart for “a critical regrasp of experience:” 8

The phenomenon in progressions always identifies a subtle or psychological shift in the fundamental course of life, such as requires a critical regrasp of experience and often proves to be an adjustment over an appreciable span of time whether marked by some single sharp event of easy identification or by a complex syndrome of changes of less obvious interrelation.

Grof’s personal LSD experience on November 13, 1956, was sandwiched between prior developing circumstances, where he monitored others taking LSD, and the years thereafter of continuing research on the effects and benefits of the psychotropic substance. Both the long-term, subtle development and the abrupt realization Jones points to in his Scope of Astrological Prediction were active in Grof’s case.

To determine the timing of a planetary station, one counts each day after birth as equal to each year of life. Counting from July 1st in the 1931 ephemeris shows Uranus stationing to turn retrograde twenty-five days after Grof’s birth. The station of Uranus synchronizing with his first LSD session accounts for the major transition of his lifetime at age twenty-five.

The seemingly random progressed stations associated with a particular several years in the lifespan mark the rare occasions when a major disruption of normal activity is likely to occur.  Grof’s Uranus stationed in progressions to turn retrograde on August 20, 1955, at 19 Aries 23, offering him a new paradigm to contemplate. This date closely corresponds with Grof’s initial steps on the experimentative path he was to take and to which he became thoroughly dedicated. The Uranian impulse incites exploration of unknown realms and dimensions, and when positive, becomes the Hero’s Journey. For Grof, it was the revelation of the bountiful assets available at the deeper levels of consciousness that beckoned him. Progressed Uranus turning to go retrograde led him inward to take up the task as an iconoclast in his chosen field, and shaped him into a spiritual leader in the mid-twentieth century’s New Age movement.

Without forewarning, a native can become alarmed by the mental and emotional pressure of stealth-like stationary progressions, with the stress likely to cause an unproductive resistance to the demands of mandatory turning tides. However, when a station is known to be imminent or when a future date is foreseen, the native can prepare in anticipation of yet undisclosed opportunities for reassessment and reestablishment of circumstances. Although taken by surprise, Grof was able to quickly identify the advantages LSD had to offer when challenging, yet auspicious events, synchronized with his progressed Uranus station.

An interesting feature in the planetary patterning of Grof’s natal chart is the relationship between the numerous opposition aspects and natal Uranus as they create a purposeful conduit in the form of a T-Cross. The name of the Cross is derived from the configuration’s resemblance to the letter T, with the horizontal line representing the planets in opposition aspect and the perpendicular pointing to Uranus at a 90-degrees to the planets in the signs of Cancer and Capricorn. Grof mentions his T-Cross in several interviews but it is far more complex than simply the ultra-tight Pluto-Saturn opposition he occasionally references. With a total of six oppositions in the chart, including the Sun with its wide orb of 17 degrees, it is considered a preponderance9 of the opposition aspect as it establishes the ultra-powerful foundation of the Cross.

The T-Cross is a Focal Determinator10 in Jones’ parlance with the squaring Uranus assigned the position of Point Focus. The squaring Uranus becomes the focal point of a continuous release of self-expression spurred on by the tension of the axis oppositions. With seven of the possible ten planets forming the foundation of the Cross, the arrangement can be considered the chart’s signature aspect. The Sharp Destiny coupled with the Point Focus Uranus coalesced to represent the genius of the chart and man who stepped out of the norm most profoundly in 1956 when progressed Uranus performed its station.

THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A LEGACY

Challenges often arise when one crosses the boundaries of accepted protocols as Grof did in the field of psychology. His own Holotropic Breathwork program could suffer criticism as well, similar to what he outlines in a 2009 interview appearing in The Sun.11 Grof includes the following remarks in answer to the question, “What were the results of that initial LSD study?”:                                             

” . . . at the cradle of all the major religions have been personal mystical experiences of their founders and prophets. When the religions become organized, they tend to lose the connection with their spiritual source and become concerned with politics, money, power, and possessions. . . “

Replacing the word religion with the word movement puts Holotropic Breathwork in a category much like any controversial organization. This exposes Grof’s work to misinterpretation by his peers in the field of psychology and leaves him vulnerable to misunderstanding even among his own representatives and facilitators of the breathwork system. Conflicts over workshop objectives and methods also present difficulties when facilitators’ personal beliefs filter into what should otherwise be a standard and well-regulated program. For a clear understanding of Grof’s intent, one needs only to hear and to read his own words.

Despite all possible obstacles, it cannot be denied, that Grof has developed a valuable program for those who wish to immerse their conscious mind into the deeper states of being that bring to light the motivations and traumas that often stand in the way of the sincere seeker.

A Transit of Import

Transit Pluto stations within a degree of Grof’s natal Moon on April 30, 2022, at 28 Capricorn 36. Pluto’s penetrating influence suggests that Grof’s legacy may then firmly take hold, especially with a conscious effort on his part, or by those in his organization, to manifest the message of his Moon’s Sabian symbol, A secret business conference.12 Following the suggestions of the symbol’s definition may be the key to a successful and long-lasting legacy:

CAPRICORN 30 A secret business conference This is a symbol of the momentary background in human relations as essentially the product of current activities and attitudes, and of a determination to capitalize on any given situation through effective allegiances among the principal personalities involved. The emphasis here is on man’s desire for an inner circle of associates through whom he may exercise a real control over immediate eventualities, and on his realization that in this fashion he may monopolize the resources of his fellows. The keyword is OPPORTUNITY. When positive, the degree is a gift for clever planning and successful administration in every area of life, and when negative, rampant selfishness and rank exploitation of others.

The Moon facilitates an emotional and nurturing connection with others in give-and-take fashion. World history identifies numerous spiritual leaders tasked with the duty to remind humanity of the wisdom accessible to them from within. Each points the way with a vital message for the advancement of current and future generations. Whether Transpersonal Psychology and the more somatic practice of Holotropic Breathwork stand the test of time is yet to be known.

The Jupiter-Saturn Sharp Destiny and the progressed station of Point Focus Uranus are the two main indicators that empowered the shifts in life direction of consciousness-explorer Stan Grof. They are representative of astrology’s bountiful symbolic and archetypal counterparts to the planetary energies that served to establish an innovative path for the native, and that brought self-realization within reach of both himself and all those blessed by his social contribution.

Regarding horoscope analysis, each astrologer has their preferred approach to which they are dedicated, however, the revealing techniques described above can easily fit into any astrologer’s toolbox. The motivational characteristics defined by the Sharp and Loose Destiny technique and the timing of great change throughout the lifespan shown by progressed stations are invaluable when seeking a comprehensive understanding of a native’s life potentials.

 

Notes and References

  1. LSD My Problem Child: Reflection on Sacred Drugs, Mysticism and Science by Albert Hofmann
  2. Interview at Esalen Institute of Albert Hofmann by Stan Grof 1984, https://maps.org/news-letters/v11n2/11222gro.html
  3. 18:51 on the Ferris podcast interview, Grof states that his first LSD experience was on Nov. 13, 1956. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mdYUmvTeig&t=1157s
  4. Essentials of Astrological Analysis by Marc Edmund Jones, Sabian Publishing Society, Stanwood WA, 1970, Definition: Sharp and Loose Destiny, pp. 342-343
  5. Essentials of Astrological Analysis by Marc Edmund Jones, Difference between the Sharp and Loose Destiny, p. 343
  6. Sharp Destiny, opposition aspect between Jupiter and Saturn, pp. 124-125
  7. Dynamic Aspects are the moving transit and progressed aspects
  8. Scope of Astrological Prediction, by Marc Edmund Jones, Sabian Publishing Society, Stanwood WA, 1969, Challenge by Progressed Station, p. 49
  9. Essentials of Astrological Analysis by Marc Edmund Jones, Sabian Publishing Society, Stanwood WA, 1970, preponderance by opposition p. 266
  10. Essentials of Astrological Analysis, Chapter on Focal Determinators, p. 192, for T Cross p. 193
  11. The Sun interview, 2009, https://wintercreativestudio.com/across-the-universe/
  12. Sabian Symbols in Astrology, by Marc Edmund Jones, Sabian Publishing Society, Stanwood WA

 

The Birth and Remaking of America – Mercury-Pluto Opposition and Pluto Return

In recent years, Americans and observers worldwide have been captivated by the turmoil within the United States (US) concerning its intense partisan politics, yet media pundits have failed to adequately explain the nature and causes of the political power struggle that continues to challenge the principles of democracy.

Astrologers, however, understand the uniqueness of our times when noting several dynamic aspects1 that have been activating the potentials of the July 4, 1776 birth chart of the United States. The aspects are the April 5, 2017, US progressed Mercury station that synchronized with the commencement of the Trump administration, the present transit of Pluto now well within the parameters of its 248-year pilgrimage-return to its natal degree, and the Moon progressions from 2021 to 2024.

THE UNITED STATES HOROSCOPE

The horoscope of a nation carries great weight in comparison with the chart of an individual because of its broad reference to the masses and for its innate contribution to a comprehensive understanding of an entire culture. This enduring effect brings with it the responsibility to create a national horoscope with a favorable resonance between the promise of guiding “stars” and the goals of the society in the making. A fortuitous date, time, and place should be chosen with the best planetary configurations that will support the collective’s desired ideals and objectives. During the establishment of the United States, some of the Founding Fathers were Freemasons and involved with metaphysics, yet it is unknown if their practices included the use of astrology, and if so, whether Electional horoscopy was used in the choice of the inaugural time for the Declaration of Independence. Whether the union was formed with a consideration of celestial factors or by chance, the planetary patterning on July 4, 1776, contained the seeds that would determine the nation’s destiny.

The origin of American thought took its cues from Europe’s Age of Enlightenment, whose thinkers believed they could “create better societies and better people.” Intellectuals from both continents traveled between the old and new worlds during America’s mounting revolution. In his pamphlet, Common Sense,2 published six months prior to the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Paine proclaimed, “The birthday of a new world is at hand.”  The Englishman’s philosophy played an important role in creating the new paradigm that clarified the benefits of a republic versus monarchy. His widely distributed writings helped prod-to-arms the tattered soldier on the colonial battlefield, and when reaching the common citizen, gave them reason to rally to the revolution in lockstep with the Founders’ intent to form a union based on the protection of human rights through democratic elections and legislation.

The most revealing astrological factor defining the stark transition from monarchy to an emerging democracy was Mercury in station-retrograde at the time of America’s establishment. The station nurtured the extraordinary mental activity required of its leaders for the development of an American ethos and for laying the ground for inestimable levels of achievement to be reached by its free and aspiring populace.

Virginia’s Thomas Jefferson, who incidentally had a transit of Pluto passing over his natal Uranus in 1776, was tasked with the drafting of the Declaration of Independence. With his eloquent narrative style, he definitively explained, point by point, the causes that provoked the Patriot colonists to revolt and engage in battle against the Loyalists to Great Britain’s King George III. Jefferson’s writings introduced what he considered to be “an expression of the American mind.” Not born of originality nor a derivative of established thought, the American perspective, he explained in later years, simply reflected the needs of the time.3

The inner ponderings of America’s Founders materialized objectively with the Second Continental Congress’s approval of the Declaration of Independence at 1:52 am4 on July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. With this decision, the colonists officially severed ties with the British Crown to reach their goal of establishing separate yet united states in accordance with the heavenly configurations of the moment. Dr. Marc Edmund Jones, in his Mundane Perspectives in Astrology,5 based his US chart’s time on the popular use of Gemini rising by several notable astrologers of his day, and by the authorization of the American Federation of Astrologers. With a bit of rectification Jones settled on a 3 Gemini 34 ascendant.

BIRTHING A NATION UNDER A MERCURY STATION

In the segment on Collective Nativities in Mundane Perspectives, Jones designates Mercury in his US chart diagram as stationary-retrograde. However, the ephemeris for 1776 shows the station to be exact on June 28, just days before the announcement of independence in early July. Planetary stations, whether in transit or progression, point to a crescendo in the development of events that facilitates a psychological shift in perspective resulting in a dramatic transformation of existential affairs. Jones explains the virtual phenomenon in his Scope of Astrological Prediction as a pivotal period demanding “a critical regrasp of experience.” 6 Unlike transit stations that need to aspect a natal planet to be effective for chart interpretation, a progressed station need not make an aspect with a birth planet and can be associated with events far in advance or after their pause to change direction.

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King of the Fairies Meets the Queen of England – President Joe Biden, Queen Elizabeth

When the King of the fairies meets the Queen of England, they need no introduction. President Biden met with the Queen of England on June 13, 2021. It was amidst his first international trip since the pandemic, with other important stops along the way. The chart shows the connection between the two “monarchs” with the shared Sabian symbol, 1 degree Taurus, A clear mountain stream. Tragedies have loomed over both lives, so they may find solace in each other’s sensitivities, as well as both sharing a sense of dignity and care for others. The Bidens were advised not to bow to the Queen as they are not her subjects. This well suits a surreptitious King of the fairies with his Sun in the 12th house.

Biden’s Sun degree is The king of the fairies approaching his domain, which has always been for him a movement toward a political base of operations. Finally, he has reached his highest goal to “rule” as President of the United States.

From People.com –

“She was very gracious,” the President told reporters Sunday at Heathrow Airport after he and First Lady Jill Biden held a private audience with the Queen at Windsor Castle. “She reminded me of my mother,” he added. 

With the Queen’s Sun on Biden’s Moon, it is no wonder she reminded him of his mother. Their private meeting after the pomp and circumstance is seen in another planetary connection of the Queen’s Saturn within a few degrees of Biden’s fairy Sun degree in the 12th house of behind-the-scenes activity.  This placement keeps their conversation very quiet in contrast with the pomp and circumstances of their public meeting.

Biden – Queen, mutual connecting Sabian Symbol degree –

Taurus 1 A clear mountain stream This is the symbol of the individual spirit in its irrepressibility, and of the purity and excellence of its real sources of strength. Here man is freed from any necessity to meet the superficial limitations of life in any particular way or to conform to any pattern of events except as there is a genuine contribution to an overall consistency in its self-expression. The keyword is RESOURSCOUFULNESS. When positive, the degree is high achievement through an unswerving fidelity to some definite course of action, and when negative, a tendency to waste the potentialities of being by endless self-ramifications.

 

The Queen’s Saturn –

SCORPIO 25 An X ray This is a symbol of man’s organic integrity, or of the unvarying structures of nature on which all intelligence depends. There is here an emphasis on the wellbeing of each individual as a foundation for his self-realization in the world he shares with his fellows, and on his responsibility to keep himself fit for the performance of his part in the common functioning. He recognizes himself as the measure of all effective reality, and sees everything around him as a continual revelation or validation of his own capacity. The keyword is INVESTIGATION. When positive, the degree is an exceptional power of analysis, and when negative, uncritical oversensitiveness to both the condition of self and the state of society.

Biden’s Sun –

SCORPIO 28 The king of the fairies approaching his domain This is a symbol of the eternal promise underlying all inner self-realization, since any actual fullness of life is altogether independent of the passing state of affairs in a world of time and space. Implicit in the symbolism is the futility of man’s
common reliance on people and things through some mere accident of contact. Outer reality takes the form with which he endows it as he exercises his sovereignty over its various potentials in the creative realms of his own imagination. The keyword is ALLEGIANCE. When positive, the degree is a special
competence of inward vision and a consequent outward perspective of high effectiveness, and when negative, capricious self-indulgence.

The Queen has a T Cross with Saturn in Point Focus. Saturn is also in square with Jupiter to give her a Sharp Destiny. Her Temperament Type is Splay and her Reins planet is Saturn once again to make it High Focus as well as Point Focus of the T Cross. The sign of royalty is shown in Jupiter’s exact in opposition to Neptune.

 

The Menendez Brothers and the Sharp and Loose Destiny

Lyle, and his younger brother Erik, shot and killed their parents, Jose and Kitty Menendez, at their home in Beverly Hills on the evening of August 20, 1989. Soon after the killing, the two brothers went on an excentric spending-spree, with their inheritance, and proceeded to live an extravagant lifestyle, which led to the suspicion of their involvement in the crime and ultimately to their arrest in March 1990.

Lyle was arrested on March 8, 1990, and taken to the Los Angeles County Men’s Jail. Erik turned himself in after hearing about his brother’s arrest. Erik was apprehended by police at the LAX airport after arriving from Israel. He too was taken to the Los Angeles County Men’s Jail. Their arraignment for first-degree murder took place on March 26, 1990. Both are serving life sentences without parole. They are to this day, incarcerated in a Southern California prison where they are allowed to see each other daily at meals and in the exercise yard.

The Menendez brothers may be together again, and they do have a lot in common, but an exploration of their individual horoscopes will unveil a unique difference, one that landed them in prison. It was Erik’s proneness to conscience that made the difference between holding to the lie the brothers had agreed upon and revealing the terrible truth of the diabolical murder of the unsuspecting parents. It was Erik’s Sharp Destiny, indicated by the opposition of Jupiter and Saturn in his chart that led him to confess to the crime, and with no major aspect between Jupiter and Saturn in Lyle’s chart, he quite differently than Erik, held out to the end.

SHARP AND LOOSE DESTINY

Defining the Sharp and Loose Destiny is one of several advanced procedures in chart analysis that were developed in the mid-20th century by astrologer par excellence, Dr. Marc Edmund Jones. Jones’ innovative techniques were based on early astrological practices, which he expounds on in his writings to give a deeper and more comprehensive scope to chart interpretation. In his chapter on Self-Ordering (1) in The Essentials of Astrological Analysis, he begins by pairing the planets into four distinct departments of Self-Determination. Each departmental pair is then assessed for a possible major aspect between their positive and negative significators.

The four planetary departments of Self-determination,

1) The Sun and Moon of Vitality, is the organic will-to-be of the Greater Light, coupled with the Lesser Light’s emotional response and connection to its surroundings.

2) Jupiter and Saturn, as they define the soul’s personal Motivation through Jupiter’s enthusiastic outreach, paired with Saturn’s complimentary sober self-reflection.

3) Mars and Venus are paired to establish Efficiency in experience, through the initiative of Mars in concert with Venus’s gratifying conclusions.

4) Uranus and Neptune, the planets of Significance, as they work together to encourage the elevation and expansion of consciousness beyond the personal motivations of Jupiter and Saturn.

Mercury and Pluto are supernumerary and not included in the technique of Self-determination.

Each planetary department is vital for a well-rounded involvement in the business of everyday living. However, it is the role of Jupiter and Saturn, the department of Motivation, to offer the native an opportunity to develop personal accountability. The development of self-conscious awareness unfolds and becomes the necessary foundation for the further development of higher consciousness, represented by Uranus and Neptune, the planetary pair of Significance in the process of self-realization in a more expansive comprehension. The prominence or lesser influence of the department of Motivation in any chart is determined by the major aspect between the planetary pair to signify whether the life is destined to a Sharp and conscious moral self-awareness, or when Loose, minimizes the focus on behavioral moral standards.

The aspect allowance between Jupiter and Saturn has an orb of 10 degrees. A Sharp Destiny is identified when the pair of Motivation is in conjunction, square, or opposition, with each aspect characterized by its own unique definition. These formidable aspects produce continuous self-monitoring, which in normal circumstances should lead to a dedication to high moral standards. A Loose Destiny is found in the chart with Jupiter and Saturn in sextile, trine, or not in major aspect, allowing the native to be more relaxed in the assessment of their own or others’ acts and attitudes, and with relative freedom from both internal conscience and external pressures.

The contribution of the Sharp and Loose Destiny technique, as it relates to all other chart configurations, helps form an assessment of the native’s potentials for the refinement of character. Jones elaborates, “The fundamental distinction is between the life with its course rather well-determined at birth, or before, and the one where there is little preset in its development.” (2)

JUPITER AND SATURN IN THE CHARTS OF LYLE AND ERIK MENENDEZ

The signature difference between the two brothers is defined by the one as experiencing a highly sensitive struggle in conscience that produced the guilt that led to his confession to the crime, and the other, by contrast, was more hardened to his commitment to withhold information thanks to his Loose Destiny and his lack of consideration of the right and wrong of the circumstances leading up to the fatal and irrevocable event.

It is Erik’s Jupiter and Saturn in an opposition aspect that defines his Sharp Destiny that differs greatly from Lyle’s Loose Destiny, determined by a lack of major aspects between the pair of Motivation.

From the book, The Menendez Murders:

“Only Erik was having a hard time living with it. He kept dreaming about the gory scene in the TV room. His guilt was overwhelming him. He had to confess to someone. Naturally, he had picked his therapist. Nobody had witnessed the crime. Nobody had found the weapons. Nobody had challenged their alibi. Nobody could point a finger at them.”

While in a therapy session with his psychotherapist, Dr. Jerome Oziel, Erik confessed that he and his brother killed their parents. “I was having trouble telling him (Dr. Oziel) about why I was suicidal since I hadn’t told him that I killed my parents, and so he wasn’t really getting it,” recalled Erik. “And so I just decided that I needed to tell somebody, and I decided to tell him right then . . . I really wanted him at that point to tell me that I wasn’t a bad person. And he couldn’t do that unless he knew that I killed my parents.” (3)

The motivation for Erik’s desire to have his therapist “forgive” him by telling him he wasn’t a bad person, was part of the process of conscience seeking to assuage the pain-producing guilt that arises from the realization of one’s wrongdoing.

JUPITER AND SATURN IN OPPOSITION ASPECT – From the Essentials of Astrological Analysis,

“Jupiter and Saturn in opposition aspect indicate an ordering of life’s fundamental motives, through which the native is usually compelled to dramatize himself continually in the presence of his fellows, at least if he wishes to participate with them in any course of everyday experience. This necessity often tends to throw a given lifetime into two entirely separate periods, with the latter revealing greater depth and continuity of realization, as perhaps an unsuspected consequence of the mirroring it has given itself through some more superficial role-playing in the former. There may be either a prodigal expenditure of the self’s resources, with their ultimate recapture in a refinement of soul, or a moral vacillation that accentuates every weakness of character, and so encourages a surrender to a final and hopeless ineptitude.” (4)

According to the definition of the Sharp Destiny with Jupiter and Saturn in opposition aspect, Erik was compelled to go along with the crime as a form of acceptance needed in relation to others, as is the requirement of a native with this planetary indication. Rather than superficial role-playing on his part, his participation in the murders was a result of his immature inability to discern the magnitude and seriousness of the crime he was about to commit in coordination with his brother Lyle. This is in contrast to the second half of his life-experience with its more shocking realization that he would be having when incarcerated without parole. His time in prison could most advantageously lead to a refinement of soul to counteract the anguish of his otherwise hopeless ineptitude.

Erik’s Saturn becomes the outlet of energy as a High Focus Focal Determinator in his Funnel Temperament Type. Saturn also is the elevated and sole occupant of the southern hemisphere. These combined chart features greatly emphasize the power of the Sharp Destiny in Saturn’s application to Jupiter through opposition. The opposition takes place from the 9th to 3rd mental houses, and assist in the manifestation of the Sharp Destiny’s conflict in thought and its need to create an alignment with truth and good conscience.

 

For more about the Sharp and Loose Destiny visit, Anthony Bourdain and John McCain

(1) Essentials of Astrological Analysis by Marc Edmund Jones, page 108 – Sabian Publishing Society, Stanwood, Washington 1970

(2) Essentials of Astrological Analysis by Marc Edmund Jones, page 343 – Sabian Publishing Society, Stanwood, Washington 1970

(3) Erik confesses to the crime: Erik’s testimony in court  from The Menendez Murders by Robert Rand

(4) Essentials of Astrological Analysis by Marc Edmund Jones, page 124 – Sabian Publishing Society, Stanwood, Washington 1970