Saturday, 22 November 2014

An original ancient horoscope (from the Oxyrhynchus collection)!

It doesn't seem like much but the image you see above depicts a  miraculously preserved ancient horoscope! It is a horoscope in its textual form that was habitual in that period and it derives from the Hellenistic Egypt, which is the cradle of modern, "horoscopic" Astrology! There, the ancient Greeks (in collaboration with Egyptian, Jewish etc. priests and scholars) created two thousand years ago an incredibly sophisticated Astrology, which is the precursor to the one we are practicing today.

This horoscope was found in the ruins of the Hellenistic city of Oxyrhynchus (160 km south of modern Cairo), which is located on the banks of a Nile's tributary. In this region the holly egyptian fish which in Greek is called "oxyrhynchus" (sturgeon) was abounding, hence the name of the city (which was the third largest in Hellenistic Egypt). It is a horoscope written on papyrus, which remained relatively intact for 18 whole centuries because it was buried in the Egyptian desert sand - in some ideal that is for its maintenance conditions. In fact this papyrus was found - along with thousands of others and dozens of horoscopes - in the ancient rubbish dump of the city of Oxyrhynchus!

As you can see, the above papyrus looks like eaten by bugs and it has major voids in it. The experts however managed (by the method of "crossword") to restore a large portion of the text. Let's see below its full "transcription":

(figure 2)

This is the horoscope of a person that was born (as you can see in the second paragraph of figure 2) in the third year of the reign of the Roman Emperor Severus Alexander (this was the way they were identifying a particular year back then, on the base of the emperor ruling at the time). The individual was born in the sixteenth day of the Egyptian month "Choiak", in the fifth hour of the night (five "nocturnal" hours after sunset that is). This puzzling date actually corresponds to the date December 14, 223 CE at 9 pm. You can see the modern version (created by "Solar Fire Gold") of this ancient horoscope below :

If you watch closely, you will notice that some of the planets in figure 2 are in a different sign than the one given in the above modern horoscope (i.e. the Moon according to figure 2 is in Pisces but in the above modern horoscope is in Aquarius. Venus is in Sagittarius in figure 2 but in Scorpio in the modern horoscope  - and Mars is ultimately not in Scorpio but in Sagittarius). Actually behind this controversy lies a short story. Or rather, three stories!

I am inviting you to check carefully the photo of the papyrus horoscope at the top of this article! You might notice there three different handwritings (meaning that three different people wrote something on this papyrus)! At the very top of the papyrus there is the first handwriting (with the large capital Greek letters). It is providing us the original info for this horocope (written as I mentioned in a textual form, according to the habit of that era). But at the bottom left of the papyrus there is a different handwriting. A rather feisty character, writing with "lowercase" letters and at an upward angle. Actually, this person is correcting the spelling of certain words in the original text (he is correcting i.e. the greek word for the sign of Capricorn - which is originally written as "Εγοκερω" - into its right form "Αιγοκερω". Such a rare misspelling for the sign of Capricorn indicates that the astrologer who wrote the original text in this papyrus was either very poorly educated or a Greek speaking foreigner - usually an Egyptian or Hebrew).

Finally, there is a third handwriting at the bottom right of the papyrus. This is the handwriting of a second astrologer who seems to be more competent than the first one - not only in terms of spelling but in calculating the planetary positions too. You see him revising the planetary positions indicated by the first (not very competent) astrologer, marking with a tick - better distinguished in figure 2 - each planetary position he is checking over. He has identified two erroneous planetary positions, which he is marking with a symbol that looks like a greek lambda (λ): the Moon which is not in the sign of Pisces but in Aquarius and Mars which is not in Scorpio but in Sagittarius! The impeccable modern astrological program "Solarfire Gold" fully concords with him! It puzzles us though the fact that although this secod astrologer seems to be far more competent he fails to produce the proper position  of Venus (it is in Scorpio, not in Sagittarius). Maybe the ephemeris or the almanac the second astrologer used to calculate the position of Venus was somehow flawed in Venus' case...

We can say that the man for whom this horoscope was cast was not very happy with the first astrologer. Thus he eventually requested a second opinion from an apparently more competent astrologer. And today we are in the position to know that his second choice was the right one!

Thomas Gazis
Copyright: Thomas D. Gazis

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

A Fascinating Glimpse Into the Hellenistic Astrology through the miraculously Preserved Oxyrynchus Papyri !

The Oxyrhynchus papyri are a sort of time capsule miraculously preserving not only the literature but the daily life as well that was taking place some 2000 years ago, in the so called "Hellenistic Era"! Actually these papyri were discovered at an archeological excavation of an ancient rubbish dump near the Hellenistic city of Oxyrhynchus in Egypt (one of the largest cities back then). Among some unknown-until-now literary works and many everyday, prosaic documents (like transactions' receipts, petitions and wedding invitations) there have been found many scraps of horoscopes - mostly in a textual form. These horoscopes are revealing to us the methods, the skills and the shortcomings of the astrologers of the time!

You may attend my online lecture "A Fascinating Glimpse Into the Hellenistic Astrology through the miraculously Preserved Oxyrynchus Papyri!" at the IAA's "Breaking down the Borders III" mega online Astrology Conference, taking place at the weekend Friday 14 - Sunday 16, November 2014. You will find my lecture at the "Traditional Track", on Saturday, Novemeber 15, 2014 - at 11:30 am U.S.A. EST time. At 4:30 pm European GMT time. At 3:30 am Australian EDT (Sun., Nov. 16, 2014)

Thomas Gazis  

Sunday, 19 October 2014

A fatal kind of Synastry that resulted in Michelangelo's disfigurement!


It is an irony that Michelangelo, the man who produced some of the finest works our world has ever seen and who glorified earth with heavenly beauty, was physically "ugly" himself! And not just ugly but actually disfigured! Not by nature but out of an act of violence inflicted upon him by one of his fellow students bearing the name Pietro Torrigiano!

Torrigiano was anything but a minor personality. In time he would become a great artist himself. He is accredited as the person who kick-started the British Renaissance (he escaped to England after injuring Michelangelo - as the latter was a protegee of the omnipotent Florentine family of the Medici)! Torrigiano was gifted alright but somehow unlucky too, as he was born at the same time and place as Michelangelo. This meant that he was condemned to live at the shadow of Michelangelo's towering geniusness. Thus, it does not surprise us at all the fact that he was very jealous of him.

All in all, he was a tough, "macho" kind of man (he was even drafted at some point as a mercenary soldier). Obviously he was longing for any kind of pretence that would offer him the chance to unleash his smouldering grudge towards Michelangelo. And this chance was  given to him on a day when the two were copying - as apprentists - side by side some frescoes. Michelangelo made some snide remark to Torrigiano who was so much enraged by it that he punched him on the nose, breaking it.

According to Torrigiano's own testimony of the event:

"This Buonarroti (Michelangelo) and I used when we were boys to go into the Church of the Carmine to learn drawing from the chapel of Masaccio. It was Buonarroti’s habit to banter all who were drawing there; and one day, among others, when he was annoying me, I got more angry than usual, and clenching my fist, gave him such a blow on the nose, that I felt bone and cartilage go down like biscuit beneath my knuckles; and this mark of mine he will carry with him to the grave."

There is obviously too much jealousy and animosity involved in the Michelangelo - Torrigiano relationship (especially from Torrigiano's part). And since the quality of a relationship depends largely on the type of Synastry that is formed between its members it seems as though the Michelangleo - Torrigiano Synastry was not a particularly happy one. And as we will soon see, indeed it wasn't!

We do have in our disposition the complete birth data for Michelangelo (his time of birth as well) so we can cast his complete natal chart (you may see it below). He was a double Pisces (Sun and Moon in Pisces) with a Sagittarius Ascendant! His natal Moon and the ruler of his horoscope (Jupiter) are both residing in his Second House (in a very "solid", down to earth and artistic House, that is)! His Sun is conjuncted by the ultra-energetic and bellicose planet Mars. Being a double Pisces he was meek alright but he was probably exhibiting as well some sudden Martian outbursts!

We know as well Torrigiano's date of birth: November 24, 1472 (Old Style of course - Julian Calendar). As you can see below Torrigiano was a Sagitturius with a Virgonean Moon. And as in Michelangelo's case he has a bellicose Sun / Mars conjunction too (in a fiery sign this time - no coincidence he is described as a man with a rather violent temper):

Although we don't know Torrigiano's time of birth we can still conduct a decent synastric study for these two Italian Renaissance artists. You may see their Synastry below (Michelangelo's chart in the inner wheel and Torrigiano's in the outer one):

We should start with the fact that their solar signs (Pisces and Sagittarius) are inharmonious. Although they traditionally share the same ruler - Jupiter - their natures (feminine - masculine, aquatic - igneous) are quite different and it is very hard for them to find some common ground. Michelangelo's and Torrigiano's respective Marses are not helping them either in that sense, as they are forming a square aspect among them - magnifying and exacerbating even the most trivial friction in their interaction. And since both their Marses are aspecting their respective Plutos' too the slightest friction among them was producing extreme turmoil in their souls and was thus escalating into a deadly hostility - as if their very existence were in jeopardy!

If we had to associate envy with a specific planet then most probably this would be Saturn (and Saturn is particularly envious in front of accomplishments, recognition and fame). And in the current Synastry Torrigiano's Saturn is forming a harsh square aspect to both Michelangelo's Sun and Mars! This means that Torrigiano was feeling somehow inadequate in front of Michelangeo. He must have been cultivating in his soul a deadly envy for the latter's brilliance, vivacity and talents! And as he was a couple of years senior to Michelangelo he probably tried to control and manipulate him, untill things escalated into that famous punching!

You see, although Torrigiano was too "macho", his Virgonean Moon was very sensitive to criticism.  Thus, Michelangelo's remarks seem to have upset him rather excessively and disproportionately to the occasion. And this due to the fact that Michelangelo's Mars and Pluto are forming stressful and somehow "corrosive" aspects with Torrigiano's Moon in Virgo.

This brief synastric analysis would be rather incomplete if we did not mention the fact that Torrigiano's Sun, Mars and Venus are all "falling" in Michelangelo's Twelfth House. The Twelfth House is a somehow "debilitating" area of the chart. Thus, if you are a tough guy you don't want your Sun and your Mars to fall in some other guy's Twelfth House - especially if you consider him a competitor of yours. In such an eventuality, you feel rather weak and confused when interacting with that guy. We might say that Torrigiano was somehow feeling "belittled" even by Michelangelo's mere presence! And that's a very discomforting sensation to someone who has not worked with himself and has not experienced the transcendental "Ego dissolution" state as a potentially "elevating" thing...The only alternative left then to the "raw" kind of people - in order for them to jump out of the numbing and humiliating limbo of the Twelfth House - is to resort to spasmodic acts and to an apparently unmotivated aggression...

Thomas Gazis
Copyright: Thomas D. Gazis

Saturday, 4 October 2014

The (erected by Cardanus) horoscope of the top Byzantine/ Renaissance astrologer Trapezuntius!

                            (Portrait of the top Byzantine/ Renaissance astrologer George Trapezuntius)

Many historians nowadays are beginning to realize that the contribution of the Byzantine scholars to the Italian Renaissance - although much praised  - in reality has been underestimated! I could share my own testimony here - for the little it counts for - since I am researching Byzantine astrology for many years and I have come to the conclusion that the Byzantines Astrologers have substantially influenced their European colleagues - and the Renaissance Astrology in general!

A leading figure of the Byzantine and Renaissance Astrology - a figure that directly and indirectly influenced many European astrologers - is George of Trebizond (or George Trapezuntios)! He was born in 1396 in the island of Crete. His family originated from Trebizond in Pontus (now Trabzon in Turkey but back then a major Greek-Byzantine city and an important astronomical and astrological center). Trapezuntius was a true cultured Astrologer (we might call him today an "omniscient" as he was an astronomer, a mathematician, a translator, orator, philosopher, physician etc.).

People know next to nothing about Byzantium and the Byzantines. So, to make you realize - in the blink of an eye  - how important Trapezuntius has been to the European astrology I am inviting you to take a look at the photo below. It shows a list of the books that the famous English astrologer William Lilly had in his possession (he enlists them himself at the end of his book "Christian Astrology"). In this list we can clearly see that Lilly was studying the Georgius Trapezuntius' book "In centum Ptolomei Aphorismos"!

In those times Crete was under Venetian rule. Thus, in 1496 Trapezuntius - having already distinguished himself in literature, philosophy and science - moved to Venice in order to work as a secretary at the powerful politician and humanist Francesco Barbaro. Alongside his work he began teaching Greek (which was becoming "fashionable" back then in Italy) and probably astrology too! His fame spread rapidly throughout Italy and he was soon receiving invitations to teach at various universities (he taught at the ones of Vincenza, Florence and Rome). A few years after, an even greater recognition came for him by the hand of the very Pope Gregory IV (a great lover of literature and the arts) who appointed him an apostolic secretary!

In all those years Trapezuntius (apart from teaching letters, phisosophy, oratory and eventually translating greek texts into latin) was most probably practicing and teaching astrology too! We have a testimony on this from the famous Italian astrologer Lucas Gauricus. In his popular book "Tractatus astrologicus" Gauricus collected/ computed the horoscopes of the most illustrious scholars of his era and among them he displays the one of Trapezuntius! You may see it below in its square form that was very popular up to a couple of centuries ago. Gauricus is "tagging" Trapezuntius as an astronomer (a term that in the language of that era means mostly an astrologer!)

Below this horoscope Gauricus is adding some info on Trapezuntius (in Latin): "He was born in the island of Crete, whose latitude is 36 degrees. He has been a professor of letters in many Italian cities and a distinguished astronomer. He himself recorded all his relative birthday events (Gauricus means here the specific date and time of every Trapezuntius' Solar Return) and he computed this particular natal chart, in various Greek and Latin forms"!

The above horoscope looks neat and well calculated but in reality it is somehow inconsistent! First of all, it indicates as Trapezuntius birth year the one of 1395. In his biographies though Trapezuntius is reported as been born in 1396. To make things more complicated, the planetary positions in this horoscope do not correspond to the very year indicated on it (1395) but to the year 1396! Furthemore, the indicated time of birth is 12:20 "An. Mer." (meaning "Ante meridiem"), resulting to 00:20 AM. Thus Trapezuntius' full data of birth should be April 4, 1396, 00:20 in Iraklion - Crete. By providing these data to the overall infallible astrology program "Solar Fire Gold" we get the chart you see below (I am using the Porphyry house system that was the most popular in that period - Gauricus is using another house system that is none of the ones we are familiar with. I think it is the obsolete by now "Bianchinus").

What strikes us immediately is the fact that the Moon is in Aquarius and not in Pisces. Actually it is in the 16th degree of Aquarius, almost half a sign away from the position indicated by Gauricus (1 degree of Pisces). In fact, on that specific date the Moon would enter the sign of Pisces at 22:18 - almost 22 hours after the time indicated on Gauricus chart! For the rest, the other planetary positions are almost coinciding!

There is though another major Italian Renaissance astrologer who somehow paid tribute to Trapezuntius by publishing his horoscope as well: Hieronymus Cardanus!  In his book "Liber de exemplis centum geniturarum" ("A Book of a hundred nativities' examples", in which Caedanus is analyzing many horoscopes that were already present in Gauricus "Tractatus Astrologicus" - plagiarizing thus Gauricus, a common practice back then - he includes as well the horoscope of our brilliant Byzantine scholar. Cardanus was a "Ptolemaic" astrologer and that was an additional reason for him to honor the "par excellence: Ptolemaic Trapezuntius - whose books most probably had thoroughly read! Actually, he is presenting the horoscope of Trapezuntius on the very first pages of his book - second only to the horoscope of Petrarch!
Cardanus is using the Equal House planetary system and certain planetary positions in his chart are identical to the Gauricus ones - to the minute! (Venus', Saturn's and the North Node's)! But we find again here a wrong natal Moon for Trapezuntius: 2 degrees and 20 minutes of Pisces - instead of the 16 degrees and 52 minutes of Aquarius). So, either the birth data of Trapezuntius is wrong and he indeed has a Pisces Moon or his data is right and his Moon is in Aquarius (it was miscalulated by both Gauricus and Cardanus - or simply Cardanus blatantly copied Gauricus, changing slightly the positions of some planets so that they do not all match the ones provided by Gauricus...). 

In any case, we are rather perplexed by the apparent miscalculation of the Moon from the part of both Gauricus and Cardanus. Especially Cardanus - apart from being an excellent astrologer / astronomer - is considered one of the greatest mathematical minds in the history of mankind! And even if this Trapezuntius' horoscope was casually found by Gauricus and Cardanus in some manuscript and was merely copied to their books, they should have accurately verified every single planetary position on it before publishing it.

We should add a precious piece of information here: John Monfasani - a major Trapezuntius'  modern biographer -  is arguing that this great personality was born on April 3, 1395 (if this is the case then his Moon is in Virgo - and that Moon reflects very well the fact that he was very productive, that he worked for a long time as a secretary and that he was attracted by young girls). Apparently though Monfasani is not a great astrology connoisseur, because he draws the conclusion that Trapezuntius was born on the 3rd of April out of a personal note the latter wrote, stating that on the 3rd of April 1453 he was having his 58th Solar Revolution. Every astrologer knows though that a solar revolution may occur a day before our calendric birthday - so Trapezuntius might very well have had his 58th Solar Return on the 3rd of April 1453 while actually his birthday was on the 4th of April.

Of course, if Trapezuntius in 1453 was celebrating  his 58th (and not his 57th) Solar Return  then he must have been born in 1395 and not in 1396! There is though an elemenet capable of causing a certain confusion: a byzantine year was starting on the 1st of September! The byzantines that is were celebrating the first day of their new year 4 whole months before the Italians! This sort of discrepancy might have brought a certain difficulty in the conversion of the byzantine years into the corresponding Italian ones.

In 1447 the patron of Trapezuntius Pope Eugene died and Nicholas V took his place. Nicholas maintained Trapezuntius as an apostolic secretary - and as a translator of Greek secular and religious texts! At about this time Trebizond translated into Latin the "Almagest" of Ptolemy adding to it a commentary of his own in Latin - a commentary that would become very popular throughout Europe for the next four centuries!

                                   (A commentary of Trapezuntius on Ptolemy's "Almagest")

In the new papal entourage though another scholar figure was becoming the center of attention: Poggio Bracciolini. Perhaps in order to differentiate himself from Trapezuntius - or to advance a "fellow patriot" of his in front of the unstoppable stream of Greek culture that was ever more sweeping Italy - Bracciolini imposed the rather minor (as we know today) Latin orator Quintilianus as the supreme intellectual figure of the day! Trapezuntius - who obviously felt unfairly sidelined by this meteoric rise of Bracciolini - began to feverishly shatter Quintilianus in his speeches and letters. Thus he inevitably came into conflict with Bracciolini himself - and obviously with the circle of Bracciolini's "supporters". That was a big mistake, because no matter how just Trapezuntius was (and how unfair Bracciolini) ultimately Trapezuntius was all alone in this fight - while Bracciolini as a typical Aquarius (and as an Italian of course) had numerous and powerful allies.

The pretence for dismissing Trapezuntius was given to the Bracciolini's entourage at a meeting of the apostolic secretaries. There, Bracciolini made ​​an ironic comment to Trapezuntius who got up and  threw a powerful punch in his face (we shouldn't forget that Trapezuntius was as Aries - and if he was born in 1396 he had his Mars in Aries too!). By committing this explicitly violent act against the vain reviver of Quintilianus he fell completely out of favour and eventually was forced to leave Rome in 1452 and move with his family to the - ruled by the Spaniards' back then - city of Naples.

In Naples George of Trebizond worked as a secretary to the King Alfonso of Aragon. This was one of the his most flourishing periods, as he wrote then his two major astrological essays: the "A Short essay on Antiscia" ("Brevis de antisciis tractatus") and "Why the judgements (predictions) of the astrologers are failing in our times" ("Cur his temporibus astrologorum judicia fallant "). At the same time, he translated into Latin the astrological work of pseudo-Ptolemy "Centiloquium", which became as well a mega hit throughout Europe. Furthermore, he continued teaching and one of his disciples - in this dominated by Vesuvius city - was Giovanni Pontano, who would later on become a major humanist and astrologer! And while his Naples sojourn started pretty well, after a few years Trapezuntius began experiencing problems there too...

At a certain point Pope Nicholas V summoned Trapezuntius back to Rome. There he met (and probably even taught) Regiomontanus, who around the year 1462 was living  at the Roman villa of the Byzantine cardinal Bessarion - who had turned his house into a cradle of hellenism and humanism). But the environment in Rome was still "toxic" to this Greek emigre and he consequently fell victim to new adversities and intrigues. He left Rome and travelled to his fatherland Constantinople - which had fallen by then to the Ottoman Turks. Apparently the Turks were not very much thrilled by the Trapezuntius' literary and astrological virtues, so he returned to Rome. But he was again treated in a hostile manner (as he had sought to establish relations with the arch enemies of Christendom the Turks). He finally died around 1473, destitute and suffering from dementia (he was wandering like a fool through the streets of Rome), without ever been acknowledged for the pivotal role he played in the revival of the ancient Greek-knowledge (and of astrology in particular) in the renascent Europe...

Thomas Gazis
Copyright: Thomas D. Gazis

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Clooney - Alamuddin: a rather incompatible couple!

Α glamorous marriage is taking place as I am writing this article (under the spell of the Libra Sun, which is urging people to form "unions" of all kinds) in what is probably the most romantic city of the world, Venice! Actually, the George Clooney - Amal Alamuddin marriage is one of the most spotlighted and discussed in recent years and under this point of view it ranks second only to the the Prince William - Kate Middleton royal marriage in 2010!

A hollywood superstar that used to be a die hard bachelor has fallen in love to a rather "mortal" woman and is displaying towards her the ultimate proof  of his love, by officially marrying her in magical Venice! What more? There are some fairy-tale ingredients here (too much Neptune obviously!). Certainly it's not a coincidence that this relationship and the ensuing marriage has fascinated the public world wide.

It comes thus as a surprise the fact that this much celebrated couple seems to be - astrologically speaking - rather incompatible! I don't have in my hands Amal's complete data - nobody seems to know her birth time - so I am a little bit cautious here. Still, I cannot overlook the fact that in their "Synastry" (in the comparison of Clooney's chart to Alamuddin's) some key elements are highly conflicting and disharmonious!

George Clooney is a rather introverted, conservative, down to earth, resilient Taurus. His Ascendant is in the ethereal sign of Pisces. That Ascendant - combined with his strong Taurean energies and with his Venus in the First House - are the main astrology elements entailing his much praised handsomeness and allure. But what strikes me the most in his chart is his very stern and austere Moon, residing in the sign of Capricorn and forming a rather tight conjunction to Saturn!

Since the ancient times the sign of Capricorn and the planet Saturn are considered two elements that are somehow lacking warmth and spontaneity and here we have Clooney bearing both of them in his chart! That's a rather pivotal configuration - but not necesarily a "bad" one. On the one hand, it is making him very disciplined, ambitious and cold blooded and thus it is an excellent configuration professionally (he might very well have been a distinct doctor - no doubt that the doctor's role suited him perfectly in the "ER" TV series). But on the other hand, this is a rather "hindering" configuration on a personal level. Our Moon is related to our "inner world", to our feelings and soul's energies. So, in George Clooney's case we unexpectedly disclose a largely harsh and frigid inner world of his!

What an irony! The love idol - to millions of women worldwide - did not receive  probably much love in his early years and apparently is harboring in his soul major emotional gaps, insecurities and even grudges - rooted in his childhood and propably stemming out of his relation to his mother. For this reason he is ever seeking to "square" things up and control any eventual intimate interaction of his with women, obsessively establishing terms, clauses and boundaries between him and them! He generally seems to be having awkward moments when co-existing with a woman! The very thing of expressing his inner feelings, warmth and spontaneity might turn to be a particularly hard task to him! Don't get me wrong though! Clooney might function very efficiently sexually  - as a Taurus - but for the rest he might have remained in the memory of many women as a rather cold, calculated and distant partner. In any case, he seems to be a very practical and "earthy" man, a man who understands the "necessity" of life and who thus is not particularly reluctant in engaging in eventual relationships or marriages of convenience!

Let's take a look of their Synastry. Their solar signs are quite incompatible (he is a Taurus and she is an Aquarius. Their "core" energies are somehow clashing). In addition, their respective Suns are forming a tough square aspect between them - while Amal's Venus is squaring Clooney's Sun as well! These are quintessentially disharmonious configurations! Of course, there is a mitigating factor here: Clooney's Moon is in his Eleventh House - the House archetypically corresponding to the sign of Aquarius. So, we are getting some assistance out of this "latent synastric element" of theirs (see my relative "Sasstrology" article:  Latent synastric elements - the secret fuel of love ), as George Clooney's Moon is harboring certain elements pertinent to the Aquarian Sun of Amal! But even this assistive latent element cannot compensate their otherwise blatant incompatibily!

Amal's Moon is forming as well a hard aspect to Clooney's Sun (a Quincunx), denoting a sort of alienation and a deep inner conflict between the two. Fortunately, there is another "latent synastric element"saving the scene here (Amal's Sagittarian Moon is falling in Clooney's Ninth House. This means that the two know very well the value of opening up, of trusting each other and having fun together - Amal seems to have taught him big time this - of "playing", joking and loughing. As a couple they are orientated towards self-improvement and culture in general. They are good companions and forgiving to each other).

Both Amal's Sun and Venus fall in the secretive and somehow "sacred" Twelfth House of George Clooney. The Twelfth House is a rather strange and unusual area of a chart, full of mystical, transcendental and sometimes disabling energies. We often tend to idealize an individual putting planets in our Twelfth House. On the other hand, no other individual might dissilusion us and disappoint us more than the one putting his "Lights" (Sun or Moon) or any major planetary configurations in our Twelfth House!

With Amal's Pluto in Clooney's Seventh House and simultaneously in opposition to his Venus the Lebanese descent lawyer is often acting as a sort of therapist for him, pinpointing his complexes and traumas and deliberately mining his rigid rules. We might say that she has a very soothing effect to his soul - as her natal Jupiter is falling in Clooney's Fourth House (a House harboring our most personal soul energies, our feelings, deep rooted habits etc.).

All in all, this is a difficult Synastry. There are some chances that it might get a little better: if Amal's Ascendant is either in Scorpio or in Capricorn. With Amal having a Scorpio Ascendant, Clooney's Sun would fall in Amal's ultra harmonious Seventh House - while his Moon would probably fall in her Fourth House (that would provide his starving Moon a lot of feelings and tenderness). If Amal had a Capricorn Ascendant then her Sun and Venus would probably fall in her Second House - somehow turning her into a Taurus! Adding to that the fact of her Ascendant being in the same sign as Clooney's Moon - and Clooney's Sun falling in her Fourth House - then things would be much better between the two. Still though not an excellent Synastry, just a viable one..

Thomas Gazis
Copyright: Thomas D. Gazis

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Constantinople's inauguration horoscope

In the 4th century CE the Roman empire was entering a phase of decline that would ultimately lead it to its demise. Thus it's not very suprising the fact that in 324 CE the emperor Constantine the Great took the radical (and somehow heretic) action to transfer the capital of his empire from Rome to Constantinople - almost fifteen hundred kilometres to the east! The location that was about to become the future Constantinople was back then just a small citadel named (by its greek founders) "Byzantium". But thanks to a construction frenzy that lasted 6 years Constantine built magnificent buildings, fora, baths and an hippodrome and managed to metamorphose the humble citadel into a cosmopolitan city that would rival Rome itself!

And then, the day of the inauguration of the city came! Which actually had to be determined by an astrologer (astrology was rife in the Roman empire and was about to become rife in the Byzantine empire too)! There are two major byzantine historians (Zonaras and Kedrinos) specifically mentioning the inauguration date of the new capital Constantinople: on the 11th of May 330 (Old Style)! It was a date established by the emperor's personal astrologer Valens who - as the historians are detailing - worked very hard and for a long time in order to find a uniquely propitious date.

Fortunately, we have a byzantine source reporting the time of the inauguration too (see Magdalino's "The occult sciences in Byzantium", page 168). It is "at two hours and 26 minutes". The phrase "at two hours" does not mean "at two o' clock". The byzantines counted their day from dawn on. Thus, "at two hours and 26 minutes" means "two hours and 26 minutes after the sunrise". But there is another catch here. These byzantine hours and minutes are not exactly like the ones we are familiar with. A byzantine daily "hour" for example is the result of the division of the natural day in 12 equal parts. Thus, a byzantine daily "hour" might very well range  from 45 to 75 minutes (depending on the season and on the latitude of the location)! To spare the computations, "two daily hours and 26 minutes" for the latitude of Constantinople on the 11 of May equal 2  hours and 53 of our modern time! And since the Sun rose at 5:51 on the 11th of May 330 CE the time of the inauguration is approx. 8:44 am. (and I say approximately because the byzantines did not possess precision clocks and they relied upon raw sundials and water clepsydras).

Having in our hands the exact date and time of Constantinople's inauguration we can now erect its inauguration horoscope! It is the one you see below (rendered somehow "hellenistically" - no moderns planets in it):

So, Constantinople is a Taurus with Moon in Leo and the Ascendant in Cancer. Back in 330 CE  the astrologers were using the "Whole Sign Houses" system of domification. They were computing the Ascendant alright (19 degrees of Cancer in this case) but the sign of the Ascendant was becoming (in its entirety) the "First House" (or to be more precise "The First Place"), the following sign was becoming the "Second Place" and so on. In the above chart, the First Place corresponds to the entire sign of Cancer! And without doubt, having the two benefics in the First Place (that is Venus and Jupiter, with Venus being the dispositor of the Sun and Jupiter being in Sect) seems to be an excellent election!

Moon and Saturn are in the Second Place of "material posessions" (and the new empire had to have a lot of them!). I would like to add a peculiar note here. The 11th century byzantine emperor Manuel Komnenos was an excellent astrologer. I was reading a long letter he wrote defending astrology against an important theologian - monk who was refutating it (letter preserved in CCAG V.1, 108). To give more credit to astrology Manuel mentions that Constantine the Great inaugurated Constantinople in accordance to the election made by his astrologer Valens. And Manuel Komnenos draws a rather bitter innuendo here when he goes: "Valens who was a monk himself elected the Saturn of Contantinople to be in the Second Place, so that the money of the citizens go to the monks - as we can see happening in our times!" Voila! Saturn in the Second Place! Here I had a testimony that the above inauguration chart for Constantinople is the right one!

In hindsight Valens' election was a good one. After all Constantinople endured for more than a thousand years, till she fell to the ferocious ottoman army. The Turks had made an epic decend from central Asia to the Byzantine land (corresponding roughly to today's Turkey) and in 1453 managed to breach the walls of Constantinople, occupying the city and renaming it Istanbul.

Of course we have to have at least an elementary knowledge of hellenistic astrology in order to realize whether this a nicely elected chart or not. The Sun is "in Sect" and in the Eleventh Place of "Good Spirit"! The "daemon" (known as well as "Part of Spirit" - a part that the byzantines were using a lot) most probably is in the Eleventh Place of "Good Spirit" (the Φ symbol you see at the first degree of Taurus) and that is an ideal domification because it means that the new capital would be a brilliant city protected and "guided" by good spirits (I am saying "most probably" because if Valens had miscalculated the positions of the Sun and the Moon even by some degree then the "daemon" might very well be in the Ninth Place of "God" - and that would be a jolly domicafication too)! The benefic North Node of the Moon stands in the Tenth Place and that's a sign that the city will excel in everything and will become renowned!

And for those who are knowledgeable in hellenistic/traditional astrology (or who would like to learn more about it) it would be proper to include here an excellent traditional analysis of the inauguration chart of Constantinople from the part of the distinguished Serbian astrologer Goran Konchar:

"What stands out for me in short is this: both benefics are in the First Place in the fertile sign of Cancer, culminating from an angular Point of Fortune (Venus in her triplicity/decan rules it, while Jupiter is the exalted lord of the ascendant and receives her!) in the 4th Place. This is an excellent indicator of the city's growth, fame and wealth. The Moon as the ascendant lord and the 'natural' ruler of the Point of Fortune is in a partile, sextile with it from it's 11th sign - again, very good, especially for acquisition of wealth. At the same time, the Moon is waxing in a diurnal chart but is placed under the earth in its halb and in mutual reception with the chart luminary, the Sun in the excellent 11th Place - both lights as sources of life in fixed signs (durability) their mutual agreement/sympathy still made more firm by the placements in antiscia signs - the attempt to ensure harmony/good will between rulers and the populace. Moreover, both lights are also in the terms of the benefics! The Moon is additionally over the imperial star Regulus. The malefics rule the 7th Place of enemies in Capricorn and both are afflicted/weakened. Saturn is in the turned 8th, not beholding its domicile and impeding himself (detriment) in the bounds of Mars while the Sun is in a superior square to it, and applying - death and destruction of the enemies, even though they may prove to be a very tough nut to crack (a superior malefic in a fixed sign). Mars is applying to him as well by superior sextile, providing for more damage. Mars is made even more impotent than Saturn by its position in Gemini in the 12th , the house of its sadness (Ibn Ezra). The chart has the ascendant of Thema mundi, an attempt to create a world - ruling city?"

As Goran is pointing out, I think that indeed Constantine's the Great intention was to build from scratch a world ruling cosmopolis! Under this point of view, the election that his astrologer Valens made for the inaguaration of the city was a good one! Certainly this is not the most perfect election ever made (some byzantine historians purport the story that Valens was postponing the inauguaration for 14 whole years because he could not find the proper - perfect - planetary configurations!). But ultimately nothing is perfect. Constantinople started its life as a Roman city, it was soon turned into a predominately Greek one and finally in 1453 CE ceased to exist - as the Turks militarily occupied it and altered its essence...

Thomas Gazis
Copyright: Thomas D. Gazis   

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Feminine aggressiveness (what has astrology taught me)!

(photo courtesy: "Psychology Today" magazine -  "Bullying in the female world" by Ditta M. Oliker)

Feminine aggressiveness! Well, that's a term you probably never heard before. It might upset some of you a little bit. How can one characterize aggressive the energy that we all know as maternal, receptive and tender? And how can the feminine energy manifest itself in a "bad" and aggressive way (under certain circumstances)? And so "badly" and aggressively as the masculine one? Personally I was not aware of this kind of "feminine aggressiveness" until I discovered its existence through Astrology!

Some 10 years ago I was writing an article on the six zodiacal "Pairs" (which was published in 2004 on the historical "American Astrology" magazine. You may read it here). As I was conceptualizing this specific article I realized that there is in nature a particular "feminine selfishness" that is equivalent - but not identical - to the masculine one. And there is as well a feminine kind of aggressiveness very much corresponding to the masculine one! The two are of the same intensity but of different "phases"!

To realize what I mean we have to go back to the basics. We all know that the zodiac is symmetrically composed of six masculine and six feminine signs. Aries is a masculine sign, Taurus is a feminine one, Gemini is masculine sign, Cancer is a feminine one and so on. On my "American Astrology" article I was depicting the masculine signs as "mountains" and the feminine ones as sort of gorges or "ravines". Thus, we might say that the masculine kind of aggressiveness is a "mountain" kind of aggressiveness!

If you are travelling on a clear day in a varied landscape you can easily spot the mountains around you because they are so prominent, obvious and explicit! Similarly, we can all perceive easily and IMMEDIATELY the masculine type of aggressiveness! Just picture a person shouting loud at you or violently pushing you in front of other people. That's masculine aggressiveness! What about the feminine aggressiveness though? What would there be its key characteristics?

I began my quest on this subject by considering the feminine aggressiveness as a "ravine" kind of aggressiveness. When you travel you don't see the eventual ravines in your landscape. And if you are careless enough you might even fall in one before realizing that there was a ravine in front of you! This means that the feminine aggressiveness is somehow invisible to our social environments. And although it is quantitatively equal to the masculine one (they are both equally aggressive but they don't seem so because their "phases" are disparate and their "polarities" are opposite) it is not easily perceived and evaluated as an acutely aggressive energy! In reality the feminine aggressiveness (in psychology it is called "passive aggression") works in IMPLICIT ways and is mainly moving through hidden,behind the curtains, "feminine" paths. Thus it is not easily observable externally.

We need though to clarify something here: when we talk about the "feminine energy" we do not refer exclusively to women. Many men (even the allegedly "macho" ones) have prominent "feminine" energies in theirs charts and thus may resort to feminine aggressiveness!

It is imperative for each person and situation in the Universe to be special, unique, self-sufficient and secure, to have stamina and momentum, to impose its own interests and to dominate as much as it can the people and the situations around it. If the average Joe lacked an elementary strong "Ego" then he would be "crashed" by the multiple external pressures he is constantly receiving in his life. This process of strengthening the "Ego" of a human being, of achieving its individualization and "diversification" is supervised by the first two signs of the zodiac: by Aries (which is a "masculine" sign) and by Taurus (which is a "feminine" sign). The secret now is that the aforementioned process is handled by the signs of Aries and Taurus as a "pair" - by splitting that is the process in half and by assigning to Aries its masculine "phase" and to Taurus its feminine phase! The signs of Aries and Taurus (and all the other consecutive adjacent signs) are in reality an astrological "Pair", a small "wholeness", two equal but opposite and complementary "polarities".

Regarding Aries we can easily understand why it is considered the sign of "Ego", the sign impersonating the overt aggression: it is a masculine sign ruled by the belligerent planet Mars. What about Taurus though? How can a "low key" feminine sign - ruled by the planet Venus - be so selfish and eventually belligerent? Is there indeed a feminine ego? Astrology is telling us that there is - and that it is as acute and corrosive as the masculine one! If the masculine Ego is manifested through overt aggressiveness - being occasionally a crystal clear "bully" - the female selfishness is mostly manifested through INERTIA and self-protection, through hidden and "manipulative" movements and actions! Feminine aggressiveness entails the art of invisibly acting, of not participating in those situations that are not yielding a (emotional, financial etc.) gain to the person! Under this point of view we might say that the feminine "Ego" is more readily fudging things up, while every time it faces non convenient situations it resorts to a skillful "absenting" and "withdrawal"!

Actually, the sign of Taurus is representing-  in the most archetypal way - this kind of "feminine Ego" (but don't get me wrong here, not all Tauruses are by definition femininely aggresive). The feminine "Ego" is urging the person to act "behind the curtains", to perform his/her own "plan" - that will satisfy his/her own needs - while keeping at a minimum level the expenditure of any kind of energies (sentimental, financial etc.) especially when participating in any unprofitable to himself/herself activities.

An individual partaking to the "raw Taurean type" is usually avoiding to employ any overt acts of selfishness and aggression. If there isn't a crucial reason s/he will religiously abstain from any action that might overtly upset the energies in his/her environment (not that much out of "goodness" but because s/he is aware that s/he will be immediately targeted by the people around him/her - and that means a lot of hostility and aversion and a huge expenditure of energies from his/her part. The feminine energy is "ever self-protecting, ever preserving itself" - meaning that it is aware of how important it is to move behind the curtains and not overtly provoke the others). Thus the "raw Taurus type of individual" is generally displaying a meek and polite appearance. But if it comes down to a situation that ultimately jeopardizes his/her own personal interests (i.e. if s/he must financially assist someone or house any distressed and needy people) then most probably this type of individual will attempt to withdraw him/herself from the "stage" without being noticed  though  - so that s/he ultimately protects his/her own interests and does not suffer the slightet loss or "damage". And s/he will do this without overtly squabbling nor displaying any explicit aggressiveness or violence towards anyone. S/he will just skillfully withdraw from any perilous to his/her own interests scene...

This kind of withdrawal though, this "silent refusal" to partake i.e. in a charitable activity is a sign of strong selfishness - and therefore of aggressiveness towards the people involved in that activity. Of course the "raw Taurean type of individual" did not swear at someone, nor s/he violently pushed anybody. Indirectly, however, s/he behaved as if s/he had sworn at them or as if s/he had violently pushed them away! Actually s/he did behave aggressively towards them but without giving them any "handle" to immediately recognize how aggressively s/he behaved! That's the "feminine aggression" in a nutshell !

The fact now that the "feminine" selfishness is of an implicit kind - of a kind that it cannot be easily perceived by the others - is not making it less "mean"... In fact, it is equally powerful and "mean" to the masculine, "raw Ariettid type" of selfishness, who under similar conditions might have started shouting loud, behaving violently etc. But in such an instance the prominently masculine individual would have totally exposed himself, disclosed his intentions and attracted a lot of hostility! How convenient would that be? Instead the prominently feminine individual would have more carefully arranged his personal interests - without overexposing himself/herself and without attracting much aversion or hostility. Only in time and just by those delving deeper into things the full extent of the incident would have been revealed and only then the participants would have realized how selfishly the "raw Taurus type of person" behaved!

Thus, if the masculine kind of egotism is manifesting itself through overt and explicit aggression the feminine kind of egotism is "manifesting" itself through hidden, "behind the curtains" and passive (passive-aggressive we might say) paths, eschewing any situation that is not in full favour of the "prominently feminine" person! That kind of person will be methodically "absenting" - even if physically present - any situation not yielding a meaningful benefit to himself/herself  - no matter how critical this situation might be to other people. Therefore, selfish and aggressive people are not just the ones who are overtly behaving in an aggressive manner but those individuals too who are intentionally "absent" in any critical to their "neighbours" situation, all those who are not there when the people around them need them the most. Any individual not helping his/her fellow humans - in the name of not minimally jeopardizing his/her own personal interests - is actually selfish and aggressive...

Whenever someone remains silent and uninvolved is front of a critical situation, of an emergency, of an injustice commited in his/her own presence then that person is employing a "feminine aggressiveness"! Whenever i.e. a wealthy person is not assisting the needy people around him/her - for example the unemployed ones who cannot afford even their daily bread - then this wealthy person is employing a "feminine aggressiveness" towards his/her needy fellow humans and towards society in general. The feminine aggression is not easily spotted by third parties as it might employ hypocritical and "manipulative" behaviors.

How many times i.e. have you been confronted with a person who has (directly or indirectly) wronged you (or wronged somebody else), with a person who has behaved in a very selfish manner (although in a secretive manner, so that nobody notices it) and who not only is stubbornly refusing to acknowledge his/her wrong doing but is additionally trying skillfully to put you into an aggravated position... With such a person you might lose your temper - in front of such a humongous hypocrisy - and you might start yelling and gesturing. And then you will be the one looking aggressive in the eyes of the other people! In such a way the "prominently feminine" person will have managed to doubly victimize you - while thanks to his/her own "manipulative" skills s/he will be projecting a "goody two shoes" civilized image to the people around! This kind of behaviour is immensely aggressive but in a rather feminine manner! Meaning that it might not look aggressive in the eyes of the third parties - who may ultimately target you as the aggressive person! And this would be unfair enough to drive you crazy!

To put it in the words of the clinical psychologist and "Psychology Today" author Ditta M.Oliker: "What struck me as I was watching the film "The Help" is how it also dramatically and effectively captures the emotional and psychological violence of social aggression, including the sting and cruelty of the verbal "weapons" women use. The words now associated with female aggressive behavior include: excluding, ignoring, teasing, gossiping, secrets, backstabbing, rumor spreading and hostile body language (i.e., eye-rolling and smirking).  Most damaging is turning the victim into a social "undesirable". The behavior and associated anger is hidden, often wrapped in a package seen as somewhat harmless or just a "girl thing". The covert nature of the aggression leaves the victim with no forum to refute the accusations and, in fact, attempts to defend oneself leads to an escalation of the aggression.  What the film doesn't show though is that the effects of social aggression can be longer lasting and more damaging than physical aggression. Since the "weapons" have a stealth nature to them, there is less possibility of anticipating the specifics of an attack and fewer actions to defend against an attack."

Personally, I would like to stress the fact that the feminine aggression is not limited to women but it extends to the "astrologically feminine" men too. That might be again a new term to you so here is my definition of it: An "astrologically feminine" person is the one having in his/her chart as many as possible of the preconditions described below (the more such preconditions s/he has in his/her chart the more "astrologically feminine s/he is. Points 1 and 2 are more critical though):
  1. A predominance of feminine signs. 
  2. A feminine houses emphasis
  3. Many "feminine planets" in the angles of  their charts
  4. A feminine "supremacy" in the planetary aspects of his/her chart etc.
(Note: the term "astrologically feminine" does not coincide with the term "effeminated". There are many "astrologically feminine" macho men out there...)

Ultimately, we are all  familiar - to some extent - with the bitter "taste" of feminine aggression, as we experience it rather often  in our everyday lives. It is a perticular kind of methodically structured and veiled aggression that is not easily perceived externally but still is an extremely sharp and corrosive type of aggression! Ultimately, the feminine aggression is more directly linked to the sign of Taurus (but as I said before not all Tauruses are femininely aggresive) and to the feminine signs in general (think i.e. of a Cancer or Scorpio. They are capable of tuning themselves to very femininely aggressive frequencies)! And as I have already pointed out, the "feminine aggression" is not limited just to women but it extents to all men having predominant "feminine" energies in their charts.

Thomas Gazis
Copyright: Thomas D. Gazis

P.S You may read Ditta M. Oliker's article "Bullying in the female world" here

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

An astrological analysis of Robin Williams' death

Popular actor Robin Williams was found dead on August 11th, 2014. This came as a surprise to many because Robin Williams - as far as we know - was not suffering  from any fatal illness... And the surprise got even bigger when we read that the "Jumanji" man commited suicide! Well, he was fighting a long battle against depresion and substances addiction but apparently he was doing well with rehab. In any case, there are out there millions of people living under similar conditions - or much much worse under a financial point of view - and most of them DO NOT commit suicide! What went wrong then with Robin Williams? His natal chart (and the transits/progresions in it) might offer us some clues.

To begin with, Robin Williams has a very "watery" chart. Apart from being a Cancer and having a Scorpio Ascendant he has a PISCES Moon too in the FOURTH House! This watery over-emphasis endowed him with an "audience charisma" (he had a very special way of "touching" emotionally the audience)! On the other hand, with so much water in his chart he was way too sensitive! And this sensitivity of his has been exacerbated recently by transiting Neptune touching his over-sensitive Pisces Moon in the Fourth House!

Meanwhile, his progressed Moon was currently moving in his Eighth House and was about to form a square aspect to his natal Saturn! His progressed Sun too was still forming a conjunction to his natal Saturn! So we are getting here a particular configuartion that denotes very well his pre-mortem state of mind: both his progressed Luminaries are forming a major aspect with Saturn - that we might call a "double-whammy" configuration! Add to this transiting Saturn on his Ascendant/ in his First House and you see "restriction" coming out big time in Robin's life! And a sense of "heaviness" as well, of aging rapidly and not getting much satisfaction out of life...

Apparently, Robin was an ultra sensitive person going now through an ultra Saturnian period (and as Saturn in Psychological astrology is considered a major depresion agent we get a better picture now of what Robin Williams was experiencing in these last days of his life)! He was a "Puer" that all of the sudden had to become a "Senex"... But as he was an eternal "Peter-Pan" symbol a "Senex" could never become! You see he endeared himself to the audiences for being the "Anti-Senex" symbol par excellence! And with so much "water: in his chart that kind of "endearment" he could not afford to lose...

Thomas Gazis

Monday, 28 July 2014

Jupiter in Leo (an "unhyped" interpretation...)

                                                        (Courtesy: Bill Attride)

There has been too much hype over the entrance of planet Jupiter in the sign of Leo - a few days ago. Supposedly all things are going to get better now and the optimism will sky-rocket among the people! But how can this be? According to the astrological tradition Jupiter was in a far better position in the previous sign, in Cancer where it is EXALTED! This means that from the moment Jupiter left Cancer and passed in the sign of Leo it was somehow "demoted" energetically - since Jupiter neither rules Leo nor is exalted in this fiery sign!

Undoubtedly Jupiter is not in its most privileged position when in Leo. On the other hand it is not in its most inopportune position either ... You see, according to the Hellenistic astrology (and to the Medieval / Renaissance one) Jupiter is the nocturnal ruler of the fiery triplicity (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius). Consequently, it acquires in Leo certain titles and offices. Not though the ones most astrologers are thinking of. If you noticed before, I wrote that Jupiter is the nocturnal ruler of the fiery triplicity. Which means that in the sign of Leo it exhibits somehow distinctively its properties but ultimately in a different - "esoteric" I would dare to say - manner. And in any case not so exuberantly and visibly as many would expect. This is pointed out by the law of "Tao" as well: The extreme "Yang" energies (the combined ones of Jupiter and Leo) are converted - from some point on - into "Yin"ones!

The main "obstacle" for Jupiter in Leo to manifest its exuberant side stems out of its most archetypal / fundamental property: the one of "opening up" and "expanding", the ever going on process of "dilatation and expansion". Such a property though is not particularly compatible with the sign of Leo, which generally works in favor of the "centrality" (Leo is ever promoting the "centralization" of all things). Therefore, there can never be a true"expansion" in the essentially "centripetal" sign of Leo, which is pushing the energies from the periphery to the center - and not from the center outwards, as  the expansive planet Jupiter desires. The often narrow minded, stubborn and inflexible nature of Leo offers anything but a breeding ground for the spiritual and idealistic Jupiter, which needs a lot of dialogue, movement, freedom and open-mindness in order to flourish!

Jupiter somehow stands for the "complexity" while Leo opts for the "simplicity" (Jupiter ever interrelates isolated ideas, composing out of them complex and advanced concepts - and this mecchanism lies at the foundations of philosophy). On the other hand Leo is removing the more complex layers in order to get to the very core of a situation. Thus the two work at crosses purposes here. In addition, Leo (together with Virgo) is the sign of "purification". It wants to purify things out of any "spurious" element. But it is imperative to define first here what is a "spurious" element according to the Leonian perspective - because what exacly is "spurious" is often debatable. And what might seem spurious to the sign of Leo might seem quite indispensable to Jupiter so that it makes a "conceptual interconnection" and extrapolate something "higher" out of various randomly lying and apparently unrelated ideas.

On a "mundane" level Jupiter has to do with goals, belief systems and ideals (the ideals of a certain society, of a state, country etc). With the presence of Jupiter in Leo the social / national ideals might fluctuate and become more rigid and authoritarian - permitting thus extreme ideologies to surface. And as Leo is a conservative sign (remember that in the zodiac it is diametrically opposed to the "radical" sign of Aquarius) it is now likely to trigger a more rigid spirit worldwide. Perhaps it is no coincidence that the first "tsunami" of conservatism / monetarism in the Western world appeared in 1979 - when Jupiter was in Leo again - with the election of Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister of England.

Despite the fanfare of many astrologers the periods of Jupiter's presence in Leo have not been the brightest in human history! In March 2003 we had the American-British invasion of Iraq (who can really forget the hysterical Bush's and Blair's cries / calls to war?). In January 1991 we had the war in the Persian Gulf, with the Americans leading both the liberation of Kuwait and the invasion of Iraq. While in June 1967 we had the "six days of war" between Israel and Egypt that almost sparked an international armaggedon. All these major wars were conducted in periods when Jupiter was in Leo! And the two wars in Iraq were apparently "justified" by the pretense that the Americans had to impose their own "democracy" upon Iraq (how much "Jupiter in Leo" is this thing - enforcing my own "democracy" upon others? No true democracy is ever enforcing anything to any one!)

On another level, perhaps it is not so surprising that the unusual and deadly heat wave that swept Europe in 2003 (that has allegedly caused more than 70,000 deaths) took place under the dominion of Jupiter in Leo (representing the somehow excessive manifestation of the "fiery element", of the "heat").

Clearly therefore, a lot of energy is released globally when Jupiter is "transiting" in Leo. But the question is how to manage all this exuberant energy, because if it is diverted in warfares - like in the periods mentioned above - no creative results can be obtained. Obviously all this "excess energy" is better channeled  in activities like sports (which are consistent with the spirit of Leo), in recreational purposes and in "games". Also, with Jupiter in the sign of "spectacles" there will be a "booming" in film industry, fashion and in "spectacles" in general.

However, with Jupiter in Leo ​​some historical peace efforts were made too (such as the famous "Camp David" treaty  in 1978 between the Egyptian President Sadat and the Israeli Begin, the nuclear disarmament agreement of 1979 between the U.S. President Carter and the Russian Brezhnev and the historic west/east Germany unification in 1990). Perhaps this unifying trend stems from what I mentioned before as the "esoteric" aspect of Jupiter in Leo.

Ultimately that may be the best gift Jupiter in Leo will bestow upon us: the ability to work "esoterically" with ourselves and find our true inner core, our "center" so that in all purity we follow our hearts!

Thomas Gazis

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

What is a patronage made of ? (the Da Vinci's - Duke's of Milan Synastry)

                                                     (Ludovico Sforza - Duke of Milan)

To my knowledge, there has never been a thorough study revealing the extent to which the incidental likings or aversions of the people involved in any situation ultimately determine the course of that situation - and the course of the events in general, both in our every day lives and in historical occurrences. I suspect that such a factor is considerably larger than we generally believe. Often it is due to some particular sympathy flaring among the participants of an x situation that turn i.e. a job interview into a cosy chat, that bring forth unexpectedly profitable deals, collaborations and enterprises! Thus, the quality of the human interactions, the inner "attunement" of the individuals (their "Synastry", as we call it) is of an uttermost importance and it lies at the foundations of many human accomplishments!

I was pondering on this while I was studying the Synastry of the "Renaissance man par excellence" Leonardo Da Vinci and his major patron: the Duke of Milan Ludovico Sforza! I was wondering what was the astrological element that prompted Sforza to offer his generous and multi-annual patronage to Da Vinci (who had been seeking such a patronage out of many Italian lords all over Italy but mostly he was denied it)!

As you may see above, the horoscope of Ludovico Sforza has been preserved (this square type of horoscopes was in vogue till a couple of centuries ago). Sforza was born on the 3rd of August 1452 (Julian calendar). Thus, the Duke was a Leo Sun with his Moon in Pisces (by the way, he has the same "Luminaries" combination as  actor Robert De Niro - and judging by the Duke's portrait they look alike!). His Ascendant is in Aquarius. You may see below the modern counterpart of his Renaissance chart:

We know as well Leonardo's Da Vinci natal chart (his grand-father had noted the exact date and time of his birth and fortunately that specific note has been preserved). Da Vinci was a Taurus Sun and he had his Moon in the sign of Pisces (isn't this an artist's combination or what?). His Ascendant was in Sagittarius. You may see Leonardo's chart below:

Da Vinci was born in a village near Florence and he lived in this illustrious city till his thirties (he was apprenticed to Verrocchio and received some form of patronage out of the tycoon Medici family). Things though were turning against the Medici's and him personally (he was accused of sodomy) and thus in 1482 he moved to Milan, where he was very well  received by the Duke of the city Ludovico Sforza. The Duke was a Leo and Da Vinci a Taurus. Their solar signs are considered discordant (actually, they are discordant!). How comes then they matched so well (Da Vinci stayed at the Sforza's court for 17 whole years)? Well, Synastry is much deeper than we think and it somehow moves in mysterious ways!

The Duke of Milan was a Leo. But Da Vinci was in a certain sense a Leo too! You see, he had his Sun in his Fifth House - and that is a potent domification, since the Sun is the ruler of the Fifth House! So definitely there was a common thread connecting them (Leonardo was orchestrating i.e. for the Duke  spectacular wedding ceremonies and other extravagant social events and happenings - putting on stage i.e mechanical "knights" moving on their own etc.)! Not to mention the fact that in their Synastry Leonardo's Sun is "falling" in Sforza's Second House (as you can see below). Thus, Leonardo was somehow "Taureanizing" the Duke of Milan - meaning that through their interaction Leonardo was activating in the Duke certain Taurean properties, turning largely Sforza (especially when Leonardo was dealing with him face to face) into the very sign he was! !

Actually, we are dealing here with what I call  "latent" synastric elements  (you may see my relative "Sasstrology" article here ). A "latent" synastric element is a pivotal element in a Synastry but it is somehow "hidden". Thus it is not easily perceived as a pivotal synastric element unless we somehow "extrapolate" it as such by spotting certain composite inter-connections within the charts of the two individuals and within their own Synastry!

Furthermore, an extremely unifying factor is stemming out of their Moons! They both had their Moon in the sign of Pisces (meaning that their "inner worlds" were largely composed of the same stuff and that they could instinctively connect and "feel" each other!).

And now the two "uber" beneficent / patronage kind of factors in this Synastry! First, the Duke's Jupiter is standing exactly over Leonardo's Moon (the Duke's Jupiter is in the 3rd degree of Pisces and is synastrically forming a PARTILE conjunction to Leonardo's Moon, in the 3rd degree of Pisces!) And second, the Duke's Sun is "falling" in Leonardo's Ninth House (this is an archetypal benefactor's / "godfather's" domification)! There are some other minor beneficent configurations too but we might as well rest our case here...

Thomas Gazis
Copyright: Thomas D. Gazis

Friday, 20 June 2014

When Hades reached the top of the firmament (the "dark" 2010 - '20 decade)!

As you most probably know Hades is the mythical god of the underworld. Therefore Hades (or Pluto) should be normally dwelling under our feet, within the farthest depths of the earth. How would you feel then if I told you that Hades has actually left his gruesome kingdom and is currently residing on the top of the sky, over the very "Zenith of the world"? If I told you that Hades is currently hovering over our heads, exerting its tight grip on our societies?

I know, this sounds like some kind of "horror movie" but it's pure reality! The grisly Pluto's figure is indeed hovering now over our heads, ominously casting its shadow and covertly disrupting our societies! On the other hand, Pluto is radically transforming and regenerating now our rather decayed world, as well! So, he is not that bad after all!

And I think that most of us have experienced - or we are experiencing it as we speak - this ominous plutonian sensation...We are living in a deeply transformative and confusing era. And for your information, Pluto will continue to be at the very "top of the world" throughout the entire decade. So, in the future the Astrologers will be referring to our times as "the dark 2010 - '20 decade, when Pluto was at the zenith of the world"!

Pluto has been transiting for the last seven years in the sign of Capricorn.  Capricorn is a "high consciousness" earthy, cardinal sign and it represents in mundane astrology the "World's Zenith". This "World's Zenith" (or "World's MC") concept is quite simple - and quite functional as you will see.

In the image below you see the Zodiac in its classic "archetypal" orientation, with the sign of Aries to the left (9 o'clock) and the sign of Capricorn on top:

As we know, the Zodiac circle is forming the very basis of the horoscope. But in reality the Zodiac is a "dynamic" entity rather than an inanimate one (I personally call it a "universal software"). It is an entity controlling ALL the processes within the Universe! From the birth of a man to the manufacturing of a car, from the overall course of a love affair to the course of humanity itself! So far so good, because this fact turns to be convenient to us, as you will see!

Most probably, we will never determine the "natal horoscope of the mankind" (because the exact date and time that the very first man was born will never come to our knowledge, as in realioty this moment is indeterminable!). We are given an alternative solution though: we can study the course of the entire humanity by studying the positions and the aspects of the so called "socio- collective" planets (Jupiter to Pluto) within the Zodiac! The only thing we have to do is to put just the "socio- collective" planets in the above "archetypally oriented" zodiac. And then voila! We can immediately see in front of our eyes the the relative "mundane" chart, the "World Horoscope" for the period we are interested in. It is that easy!

On the very top of the World Horoscope there is an area (corresponding to the sign of Capricorn) called the "World's Midheaven" - "World's MC" or "World's Zenith". The World's MC is revealing to us - depending on the planets transiting over it - the kind of "energies" that are currently diffused and prevailing in our societies, in world economy etc. It is revealing as well the quality of our human rulers, of the actual "ruling class", of the governments and the "establishment", the people controlling our societies!

Therefore, with dark Pluto residing now on the "World's MC" area  the "zeitgeist" prevailing in our societies is a rather dark, "chthonic", ruthless, highly transformative and (even) a "deadly" one. And not just for the time being but throughout the entire decade - because planet Pluto (the black planet in the image below, on the highest point of the "World Horoscope") will remain in that area for ten more years.

Pluto is responsible for the the recession, the "crisis" we have been experiencing in the last seven years, for the "debt" issue that dominates the world scene, for the "imminent collapse" sensation we all have, for the "nonsensical" events we are facing... We all (pretty much) feel that we are living in an Era of an abrupt decline, an Era that has led us to the very brink of world collapse... And our greatest fear is that we are going to meet worse woes down the road! We have reached the point of worrying even about our own survival! As a matter of fact, all these words: "debt", "crisis", "decline", "collapse","irrationality", "fear", "survival" are some classic "key-words" associated to Pluto!

But why are we going through this situation? Because in the last seven years Pluto has risen over the top of the firmament! Thus, it is not just the notorious Uranus - Pluto "square aspect" responsible for the tumultuous atmosphere we are sensing all around us in the recent years but to a large extent the ascent of Pluto on the "World's Zenith" played a major role!

Pluto was again in the very same portion of the zodiac (and on top of the sky) some 250 years ago. But its impact was much smaller back then, for a simple reason: there were no organized societies around - to the extent there are now (New York for example looked like a small provincial town back then, while the current colossal financial and commercial networks had not developed yet - nor the stock markets. I am saying this because Pluto in Capricorn affects primarily the so called "over-organized societies" - which are generally under the auspices of the sign of Capricorn). Therefore, never before in the history of mankind the presence of Pluto in Capricorn / on the "World's  MC" is impacting us as strongly as nowadays! What we are experiencing now has not ever been experienced by any previous generation within the last 200,000 years (since Homo Sapiens appeared on Earth, that is)!

Do you remember "Hades" in mythology? It is the same (tricky) deity as Pluto. Hades resides in the underworld and is grabbing the souls of the dead - and their fortunes as well. Actually Hades is a "quintillioner" as he is steadily accumulating over the centuries the fortunes of all the deceased people! Does this sound familiar? The International Monetary Fund seems to have become the "underworld" of our time, as it is accumulating more and more the fortunes of the various supposedly "dead" - under a financial point of view -  countries, contributing thus to the deterioration of the global financial crisis and the spreading of poverty and hunger among many countries - which until a few years ago were doing rather well.

As the "dark" and "evil" Pluto is now on the very "Zenith" of humanity most governments seem more "dark" and sinister than ever! Many governments are cruelly taxiing  their less advantaged citizens  while anti-constitutional foreclosures seem to be the norm of the time! Actually, usurpation of money and properties is the norm by now almost all over the world - not by chance, Pluto is the great "Usurper"...

In general, our governments seem to operate in an increasingly corrupt and irrational manner (irrationality and madness being two typically Plutonian elements). Things have gotten so absurd that our governments seem to conspire against us the citizens (supposedly our governments are "spraying" us with chemicals (i.e. chemtrails), are urging us to take useless and harmful vaccines that contain toxic substances etc.). This feeling of collusive cruelty from the part of the authorities has been enhanced during the years 2013 - 2014 - as Saturn entered the sign of Scorpio (and formed a "mutual reception" with Pluto in Capricorn - which I personally believe we should  classify as a very tough reception).

As we explained before, any "social - collective" planet standing in the "World's Zenith" dictates the "spirit" that will prevail within humanity during its stay there! And since Pluto is the most "elevated" planet now (and will remain so at least until 2023 - while in 2018 Pluto will be joined by Saturn as well), it is the spirit of Pluto that is currently prevailing all over the world!

Pluto is a dark, underground, irrational, ruthless, highly transformative planet who supports the strong and "unscrupulous" kind of people and encourages plutocracy - while he despises the weak individuals and therefore the poor and disadvantaged ones. He rather loves the tough guys, the tricksters (even the "dirty" and the immoral ones), those who manage to survive and to enrich themselves (as mentioned, Pluto loves the riches) no matter if they employed cruel, dark and immoral methods (it is no coincidence that Pluto is tightly related to the mobsters) ...

Ultimately though, things are not so "black". All planets have a creative side and in the case of Pluto this is the transformation that he will massively entail to the organized societies all over our planet. Pluto will dissolve the old, worn-out and non-functional elements and structures and out of the ashes a new, more alive, functional and healthy world will emerge! All this of course will not be achieved painlessly but probably through profound and agonizing procedures which will eventually affect in a myriad ways (mentally, morally, financially and even physically) vast masses of people - eventually bringing to full despair the weaker and more vulnerable ones. Pluto's game is not meant for the faint hearted ...

Pluto, however, is not entirely free to do what he wants. He has been fiercely fought by another Titan, which is currently located on the "World's Ascendant" (see a couple of images above), struggling to ascend to heaven and displace Pluto - resending him back to the underworld - where he actually belongs. We are talking about planet Uranus (the blue planet in the horoscope below, on the left). Uranus standing actually on the "World's Ascendant" is the major indicator of the sort of "energies" and trends that are currently springing forth in our societies (the "World's Ascendant" is a "gateway" ever diffusing in a torrential way fresh cosmic energies to humanity - and to each individual. And since Uranus possesses some intensely humanistic qualities this planet is fighting now for the rights of the unfairly dealt and unprivileged people (urging them to rise up)!

We are thus in a situation where on one hand Pluto - standing over the "World's Zenith" - is ever making the ruling class more brutal, corrupt, cruel and oppressive, while on the other hand Uranus over the "World's Ascendant" is making people more freedom demanding,  rebellious and revolutionary than ever! And things are going over the edge especially in the period 2012 - 2015, when Pluto and Uranus are tightly forming a particularly tough planetary aspect called "square". Thus the split between the ordinary citizen and the "authorities" is widening in the years 2012 -2015 - as a "partile" square aspect is formed  several times during this period - because Uranus and Pluto move back and forth.

Planet Uranus is the "Great Awakener" and the "Rebel with a cause"! About three years ago it reached the point of the "World's Ascendant" and it dynamically started "awakening" the people all over the planet, urging them to overthrow their corrupt governments and seize power! Under its auspices, a brave new individual is begot now: no longer a numbed and indifferent "consumerism machine" but a visionary and enlightened being, committed to its social fabric, available to its fellow-humans, with a deeper and heightened cosmic perception!

Thomas Gazis
Copyright: Thomas D. Gazis 

P.S. -  I have been developing  (and teaching in my seminars) the "World Horoscope" and "World's MC / Zenith" concepts since 2011.

- At some point we should start taking into consideration the planetoids such as Eris, Sedna etc.