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.

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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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