Stan Grof – An Astrological Profile

LSD, the Sharp Destiny and Progressed Uranus Station

The Sharp or Loose Destiny revealed in the natal chart, and planetary stations in secondary progressions, are among the powerful yet underutilized techniques in the practice of astrological analysis. The horoscope of Czech-born psychiatrist Stanislav (Stan) Grof is used as an example to show how these unique chart features confirm the connection between little-known celestial factors and profound events in existential experience.

During his residency, Stan Grof assisted in the “setting” of LSD sessions for volunteer professionals and clinical patients at Charles University in Prague from 1954 to 1956. Ampules of LSD were sent from Sandoz laboratories in Switzerland to the Psychiatric Research Institute in Prague, as well as to research clinics worldwide, for the purpose of having psychology professionals, experience from the LSD, what chemist Albert Hofmann believed to replicate the states of mind suffered by psychiatric patients.

Upon graduation in 1956, Grof experienced his first LSD session where he discovered the unconscious to be a treasure trove of personal and archetypal knowledge and a powerful ally for healing. This transformative experience diminished his regard for traditional precepts of psychiatry which he then replaced with a penetrating and persistent interest in 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 establish his therapeutic, drug-free Holotropic BreathworkTM practice.

Experimentation with LSD was legal until some of the rebellious American youth of the 1960s used it 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.

Albert Hofmann, the chemist 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, and from the Hippie’s perspective, LSD also had a nurturing effect on society in contrast with its labeling by the mainstream as a threat to the establishment. Through the LSD experience, American youth was exposed to lifestyle alternatives that included communal living, greater accessibility to health foods, and natural healing methods. Even more significantly, it ignited a pursuit of spiritual experience explained in Eastern philosophies and through 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. Then 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 BreathworkTM 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 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 transformation can be explained by two significant astrological factors. They are the Sharp Destiny present in his natal chart and the station of Uranus in his secondary progressions. The birth chart’s Sharp Destiny aspect, foreshadowing intense change, is revealed by an underutilized technique that categorizes “hard” and “easy” major aspects between Jupiter and Saturn as either in 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” and is shaped by a narrowed course guided by strict adherence to discriminating conscience with its 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 aspect that 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 with Saturn in deliberate control of its attitude and behavior. Jones speaks of the opposition as foretelling self-development and awareness, often achieved through conflicting 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 experienceThis 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 periodic and dramatic change. His formative years were spent with ambitions for a career in film animation which took a sharp turn when introduced to Freud’s work in psychoanalysis and was eventually led to a rejection of psychology’s conventional approach.

The Jupiter-Saturn opposition is especially conducive to heightened awareness and 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 the lifespan is beyond the scope of this brief study, however, an 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

Chart analysis usually involves 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 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, however, squares have a more subtle influence than conjunctions and oppositions when comparing celestial forces with empirical actuality. Transit conjunctions and oppositions generally manifest outwardly and obviously, while ninety-degree aspects indicate inner conflicting factors struggling for resolution in the subjective realm.

The often-neglected secondary progressions are of paramount importance when seeking to identify astrological indicators of consequential change. 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, the existential circumstances will mirror the progressed planet’s reversal of direction, producing what Jones defines as a time set apart for “a critical regrasp of experience.” 8

Jones describes progressed stations:

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 his prior developing interest as early as 1954, where he monitored professionals of various walks of life and clinical patients, and the years thereafter of continuing research on the effects and benefits of LSD. Both the long-term, subtle development, as well as the abrupt realization Jones points to in his Scope of Astrological Prediction, were active in Grof’s case.

To determine the year 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 birth. The station synchronizing with Grof’s 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 an exploration into unknown territories, and when positive, becomes the Hero’s Journey. For Grof, it was the revelation of the bountiful treasures of the unconscious that beckoned him. Progressed Uranus going retrograde led him inwardly to take up the task of 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 for and embrace the 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 events synchronized with the Uranus station in his secondary progressions.

The interesting feature in the planetary patterning of the natal chart is the relationship between the planets in opposition and natal Uranus as they come together to create a connective conduit in the form of a T-Cross. The name is derived from its resemblance to the letter T, with the horizontal line representing the planets in opposition aspect and the vertical line pointing to Uranus at a 90-degree angle with the planets in the signs of Cancer and Capricorn. Grof mentions his T-Cross configuration 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 by opposition aspect at the base of the T-Cross configuration.

The T-Cross is a Focal Determinator10 in Jones’ parlance with the squaring Uranus assigned the position of Point Focus. The squaring planet becomes the focal point of a continuous release of self-expression stirred by the axis oppositions. With the preponderance by aspect with seven of the possible ten planets forming the unique Cross, the arrangement is considered the chart’s signature aspect. The Sharp Destiny and Point Focus Uranus coalesce through the facilitating T-Cross to mirror the genius of the chart and man who stepped out of the norm most profoundly in 1956 when the all-important Point Focus Uranus stationed in secondary progressions.

THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A LEGACY

Dangers often appear when one crosses the boundaries of accepted protocols as Grof did in the field of psychology. And his own breathwork organization could suffer criticism in a similar fashion that he himself outlines in an 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 BreathworkTM in a similar category as any organized collective. 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 technique. Conflicts over workshop objectives and methods also present challenges 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 the immersion of the conscious mind into the deeper states of being that bring to light the motivations and traumas that often stand in the way of an individual’s spiritual progress.

Transit Pluto will station within a degree of Grof’s natal Moon on April 30, 2022, at 28 Capricorn 36. Pluto’s persistent influence suggests that Grof’s legacy may then firmly take hold, especially with an effort on his part 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 the emotional 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 application of Holotropic BreathworkTM stand the test of time is yet to be known.

The Jupiter-Saturn Sharp Destiny and the progressed station of Point Focus Uranus are only a few indicators among the vast astrological dynamics that empowered the shifts in life direction of consciousness-explorer Stan Grof. They represent two of the horoscope’s symbolic and archetypal counterparts of the celestial forces 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.

Each astrologer has their preferred approach to which they are dedicated. However, the techniques described in this article can easily fit into any astrologer’s toolbox with great benefit to their clients. The individual, moral characteristics found in the Sharp and Loose Destiny technique and the timing of great change throughout the lifespan revealed 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.

Read more

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

Alexandra David-Neel, Journalist – Explorer

The horoscope of the seeker and prolific writer, Alexandra David-Neel is outstanding in the combined configurations of a Grand-Cross with a Grand Trine that are linked through the planet Mars.

She set her sights on Tibet at a very young age and because of that was able to sneak into Lhasa in the wee hours of the morning in the heart of winter 1924.

Her Temperament Type is a Splash and proves the pattern’s versatility, allowing her to live in at least two worlds, Europe and Asia, with her heart set primarily on her life-long objective – Tibet. Planets equally distributed around the horoscopic wheel give the native the ability to wear many “hats” in a world that offered so much still undiscovered.

Her Fixed Grand-Cross is the indication of being caught in polarized conflict between various opportunities her world had to offer. Through the internal struggle of a multitude of squares, they yet gave her the impetus to break away from the momentum-programming of a Grand Fire Trine. The elevated High Focus Uranus (circled in pink) gave her the ability to go beyond Western environment to seek the unfamiliar, in the spirit of adventure and experimentation for which Uranus is known. A typical longing defined by the planet Uranus, she states, “I craved for a life beyond the garden gate, to follow the road that passed it by, and to set out for the unknown.”

This she experiences through Pluto opening the door to new horizons with its preoccupation with yet undiscovered realms. The Sun in opposition with the obsessive Pluto gave direction for her unstoppable drive toward new frontiers.

Scorpio 2, A broken bottle and spilled perfume This is the symbol of man’s real power on making his permanent impact on others, dramatized at each moment of issue and crises by a completeness of the self’s flow out and into every last ramification of the given experience. There is in the reversed symbolism an irrevocability of the self-expression which marks every individual’s divine determination to be significant at all costs. The chrysalis of being is burst open in what may well be tragedy for anything short of a supreme self-dedication. The keyword is PERMIATION. When positive the degree is persistence in creative effort and utter fidelity to the inner essence of selfhood, and when negative, witless dissipation of every resource of self and society.

Her Anglo drive to conquer new worlds is emphasized in the symbol’s line, “. . . determination to be significant at all costs.” Her writings were prolific and give testimony of her achievement in being the first woman to enter the sacred land of spiritual enlightenment. Whether her goal was truly to introduce this unique land and its otherworldly practices to her own homeland and culture or to bring notoriety to herself through her courageous accomplishment may never be known. Some individuals who seek to embrace the benefits of exotic lands and ultimate truths receive accolades for themselves through book-signing circuits.

Seeking to humble herself through the Buddhist tradition, David-Neel yet found a way to give herself credit and esteem through the books she had published exalting her own experience in the remote Himalayas and the world of monks and aesthetics of denial.

Her Sabian Symbols betray her attempt at humility regardless of her profound accomplishment in bringing to herself the unique status of the first foreigner allowed into the forbidden city, and to then share her glorious victory in the walk into Lhasa, and share with the more materialistic world the discoveries and friendship she developed with the 13th Dalai Lama.

Truth on Trial – Adam Schiff, “You Might Think That’s Okay”

Adam Schiff’s comprehensive grasp of the factors involved in the impeachment of Donald J. Trump is reflected in the Sabian Symbol of his Sun-Venus Cazimi (1) at 2 degrees Cancer, A man suspended over a vast level place. (2)

The symbol reveals Schiff’s ability to comprehend the broad scope of detail concerning the trial, as shown when he eloquently delivers the talking-points in the videos below. This will certainly assure him of a place in political history, especially concerning the unprecedented Trump administration.

The inquiry into the allegations that Trump manipulated Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, to force his assistance to smear Trump’s rival Joe Biden, took place between September and November 2019.  These events coincide with Schiff’s 2nd Saturn Return.

The articles of impeachment charged Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. On December 18, 2019, the House of Representatives voted to impeach the 45th President of the United States. The impeachment will forever be remembered as part of Trump’s presidential legacy.

 

 

(1) Cazimi is a conjunction of two or more planets with the Sun, within 17 minutes of arc. It superpowers the energies and meaning of the planets through being located within the core of the Sun. Planets in normal orb of a conjunct with the Sun are considerably weakened.

(2) Sabian Symbols in Astrology, pg 240

CANCER 2 A man suspended over a vast level place This is a symbol of man’s capacity for an illimitable overview of his experience in advance of his involvement in its details, and of the infinite ramification of possibilities he is able to uncover in the world he seeks to make his own. Implicit in the negative symbolism is the poise in act by which he escapes the bondage of any random compulsions, and a leisure in perspective which preserves his free choice. The keyword is CONTEMPLATION. When positive, the degree is an exceptional spread of comprehension and a continual self-orientation of understanding, and when negative, a flighty transcendence or an impatience with all immediate or down-to-earth considerations.

(3) Essentials of Astrological Analysis, pg 342-43 – Sharp and Loose Destiny. 

(4) An example of outrageous verbal abuse spoken by the world’s most powerful leader is the contents of the twitter feed by Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump – at 6:37 AM  on Jan 25, 2020: “Our case against lyin’, cheatin’, liddle’ Adam “Shifty” Schiff, Cryin’ Chuck Schumer, Nervous Nancy Pelosi, their leader, dumb as a rock AOC, & the entire Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrat Party, starts today at 10:00 A.M. on @FoxNews, @OANN or Fake News @CNN or Fake News MSDNC!”

 

KING or PRESIDENT? Approaching His Domain – Candidate, Joe Biden

Difficulties arise when attempting to predict the outcome of an election between several candidates because both or all individuals will be displaying multiple planetary aspects at the time of the intense competition. One might think that aspects with the benefic Jupiter, in contrast with Saturn, the more challenging planet, would indicate a favorable outcome, however, Jupiter has often been seen prominent in stressful and even over-indulgent situations. Saturn, on the other hand, can point to more responsibility thrust upon an individual for good and is not always referring to disappointing and limiting conditions. Also to take under consideration are the conjunctions of outer planets with natals, and the square and opposition hard aspects all can be interpreted in a favorable or unfavorable fashion.

The square and opposition aspects are notorious for bringing about radical change and should not be feared only as harbingers of bad outcomes. Indeed there are examples of the unexpected good, that can be seen in the history of electing presidents. One notable case with a conjunction to the natal Sun is seen in the chart of Jimmy Carter who had transit Pluto visiting his natal Sun in Libra at the time he was catapulted into the limelight as the most powerful leader in the country. Pluto could just as easily have thrown him a crushing blow that would have negated any future desire to remain active in the political arena. With all the variables, astrologers are continually tempted to make predictions, even though it is tantamount to the art of guessing. With presidential elections, there’s a 50-50 chance of getting it right, and those odds are not bad. With all this being said, a look into the planetary activity in candidate Joe Biden’s horoscope, calculated for the general elections of November 3, 2020, is in order. The transits and progressions lean toward a favorable outcome.

  • Transit Saturn-Pluto opposite Biden’s natal Jupiter
  • Station of progressed Mercury
  • Mercury progressed station conjunct transit Saturn-Pluto and opposite Biden natal Jupiter
  • Progressed Lunation 2019
  • Sextiles of Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto to natal Sun
  • Transit Jupiter opposite natal Pluto at inauguration

AN AUSPICIOUS SABIAN SYMBOL

One of the most interesting features of Biden’s horoscope is the Sabian Symbol for his Sun degree, The king of the fairies approaching his domain. The degree shows a person with leadership capabilities focused on his own realm of influence, the United States. Biden’s career has spanned approximately forty-seven years of holding the offices of United States Senator from Delaware, and following that, eight years as Vice President in the Obama administration. Biden is again on the campaign trail, and again with the hope of attaining the highest office possible to achieve in the country. He has often “approached” the highest office, running in 1988 and 2008, with this candidacy being his third attempt. There are multiple supportive planetary aspects in his dynamic chart that assist his present pilgrimage to the domain of the White House, along with a few configurations of more challenging nature, that could turn to his advantage as opposed to any of the disadvantages stated above.

From The Sabian Symbols in Astrology, by Dr. Marc Edmund Jones:

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 king of the fairies symbol is one of a “handful” of Sabian degrees that exemplify spiritual characteristics. (a) They signal that the native affiliated with the symbol must surrender their own personal fulfillment for the expressed purpose of leading others in a release of theirs. Biden, as a life-long politician, has dedicated himself to those ends, and in that way continues to sacrifice his own needs, in order to be of service to the American people. With this special degree, in Biden’s 12th house of inner psychological potentials, his otherworldly and lofty intent may not ever be truly seen, understood, or appreciated by those with a diametrically opposed agenda. Working behind the scenes is how a 12th house Sun functions best, and with Venus as an ally in the same house, the work he plans with Kamala Harris promises to be significant although discrete.

THE TRANSITS AND PROGRESSIONS

The ominous yet auspicious transiting Saturn-Pluto conjunction has been opposing the U. S. natal Mercury for most of 2020. The formidable pair are also in opposition to Biden’s natal Jupiter that is at the same time conjunct the U. S. natal Mercury. To add heightened power to this aggregation of planets is Biden’s progressed Mercury as well, at 24 Capricorn 56, now in its station-direct at the location of the  Saturn-Pluto transit. These combined planetary energies make this entire year and campaign period unusually outstanding for the candidate. This progressed Mercury will make its exact and climactic opposition to natal Jupiter in the latter part of 2021. The entire complex planetary scenario highlights the intense magnetism between candidate Joe Biden and the minds of American citizens represented by the U. S. Mercury in conjunction with the Biden Jupiter. The multiple transit and progressed oppositions, across the board, have the expressed purpose of working out differences in an extremely polarized political environment.

Biden’s progressed Mercury station is a sign of radical change, as Dr. Marc Edmund Jones explains in his Scope of Astrological Prediction. (1) “The phenomena in the secondary directions 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.” The general elections on November 3, 2020, will be the opportunity for the Mercury station to manifest as described above.

If Biden should experience a “single sharp event” such as winning the White House, to which his Sun symbol refers, it will not only transform his own experience but as a surrogate leader, it will transform the lives of Americans, “his subjects,” as any progressed station for a president or king would portend.

Biden announced his run for the presidency during the heart of his progressed lunation on April 25, 2019, shown circled in pink in the single progressed chart. A progressed lunation marks a pivotal turning-point similar to a progressed planetary station, but in the case of a lunation, past experience gradually comes to a close, to usher in entirely new possibilities that the native may or may not foresee. It creates a period of time where the individual may feel they are in limbo and challenged by the undetermined path ahead. This astrological dynamic can span several years in its molting process. In Biden’s case, he has his sights set on a definite objective which clearly is achieving an ultimate position of power and authority; a “kingship” of sorts that the role of the presidency offers.

Together, the progressed lunation and station-direct Mercury, represent an underlying transformation in Biden’s daily life, that continues to take hold now and for the next few years. Phenomenally, along with the progressed Mercury station, shown circled in red in the ephemeris graph, is Biden’s progressed Saturn, circled in blue, also in station-direct, and in this case in conjunction with the U.S. High Focus Uranus. Circled in green on the graph is Uranus, which will be following the same path as the other two, again in station-direct in 2023.

There are currently, several supportive transit sextiles assisting Biden’s all-important King of the fairies Sun degree. They are Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto, which are included in the main characters of the lineup of present configurations.

And looking forward to January 20, 2021, the day set aside for the inauguration of the next president, we can see the possibility of the swearing-in of Joe Biden, thanks to the transit of Pluto, the planet of probity, advancing to within 10 minutes of arc of his presently high-profile, progressed Mercury; still within its transition from retrograde to direct, in opposition to natal Jupiter and the U.S. Mercury. If Joe Biden succeeds in winning the White House, one can point to all these unique planetary aspects as the corresponding celestial counterpart of his immediate life-process.

Finally, on inauguration day, transit Jupiter will come to an exact opposition with Biden’s natal Pluto at 7 Leo 14, in the Sabian degree of A Bolshevik Propagandist.(2) Here is the origin of Republican fears, that socialist ideals will be at play in a Biden, Democrat administration. The symbol when positive, “is a determination to share the soul’s vision and to make a permanent impact on history.” Perhaps fate will allow the fulfillment of Biden’s vision and pledge of his nomination acceptance speech, to “restore the ‘soul of America’ and erase the ‘darkness’ that has descended on the country . . . ” (3)

 

(a) Pages 317 – 18 Essentials of Astrological Analysis, by Marc Edmund Jones – Sabian Publishing Society, Stanwood, Washington, 1970

(1) Page 49, Scope of Astrological Prediction, by Marc Edmund Jones – Sabian Publishing Society, Stanwood, Washington, 1969

(2) Page 276, Sabian Symbols in Astrology, by Marc Edmund Jones – Sabian Publishing Society, Stanwood, Washington

(3) Demetri Sevastopulo, August 20, 2020, Biden’s presidential nomination acceptance speech. Financial Times article

ASTROBITE: Bill Gates – An American Asset

                                                                                                                                                      Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

Bill Gates predicted a pandemic in 2015. How was he able to do that is anyone’s guess, however, the Sabian symbol of his Moon at 8 Aries 15 knows why.

ARIES 9 A crystal gazer This is a symbol of man’s capacity for bringing an entire universe within the purview of his mind. There are higher faculties of human understanding, but as no more than the illimitable possibilities of personal experience in the realms of potentiality. Implicit is the concept of the world and the individual as irrevocably in partnership, each reflecting the other and thereby providing a foreview of every possible mood or situation. The keyword is  ACUTENESS. When positive, the degree is consummate insight in planning the course of events or organizing them in the light of immediate convenience, and when negative, an idle curiosity and a surrender of all reality to the vagaries of the moment.

A crystal gazer sees the future, and the humanitarian work Gates is doing, puts him in a position to participate in the solution to the catastrophic position the world is experiencing with the Coronavirus pandemic.

Gates got his start with his genius in creating Microsoft. It made him a billionaire, and his Sharp Destiny aspect formed by Jupiter and Saturn in square, offered him the opportunity to live up to his highest potentials.

Progressed Mercury is coming “out of the dark” to meet the 7th house cusp where there will be more direct communication from him with others, especially in terms of interviews concerning the subjects with which he is engaged. Simultaneously, transits Jupiter and Pluto come to the light in the same location to bring profound possibilities as well as direct challenges to his intent. There have been attacks on his character and credibility and even outright lies about his creating the Coronavirus himself and launching it out to the public.

Truth is that Gates has been working hard for decades in his own Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, designed to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. (1)

Marc Edmund Jones, in his Essentials of Astrological Analysis, defines the Sharp Destiny in square aspect as follows.

JUPITER AND SATURN IN A  SQUARE ASPECT,  indicate an ordering of life’s fundamental motives, through which the native usually suffers very immediate consequences of the least neglect or abuse of his own potentials. He finds he must fight continually for the ideals in which he has come to take the most consistent interest, and also learns that his conscious well-being is wholly dependent on the moral struggles in which he becomes involved almost inevitably at every stage of his experience. If he does not relish the days in which he seems torn to pieces in self-uncertainty, he must discover ways to tear himself apart deliberately, and in equally painful fashion, on the behalf either of some cause of real significance or some conception that he can dramatize through his own being. Personal existence under this configuration can become either great opportunity, or else a gradual disintegration of the soul in the very core of itself.

Gates has been working under this influence of the Sharp Destiny for years and has mastered not only the chance to prove himself capable of achievement but has brought the rest of the world along with him by his magnanimous contribution in the digital sphere and in the field of health worldwide.

For an in-depth study of the Sharp Destiny, visit Planetary Dynamics posts, Anthony Bourdain and John McCain

(1) From the Foundation fact sheet.