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