Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Putin Versus Obama

Vladimir Putin is no saint.  He's probably a mass-murderer and is no supporter of general civil liberties in Russia.  He's is also apparently ignorant of economics, having both rescued the Russian economy with massive tax cuts and hobbled it with trade embargoes.  But in the world of foreign relations today he is the most adept and wise major player in the game.  And the world is a better and more peaceful place for it.

First, some recent history.

2013: during which the Barack Obama and the US government sought to invade Syria under the pretext of charges which would later prove to be unsubstantiated or even fraudulent.  This new war was stopped by none other than Vladimir Putin, who, seizing on an offhand comment by John Kerry, maneuvered an agreement forcing the US to back down or lose the war for public opinion.  The US would then resort to a more covert strategy of funding ISIS while pretending to fight them: the primary enemy of ISIS is the Assad regime in Syria. 

After the Ukrainian government in late 2013 rejected an economic deal with the EU in favor of a better deal from Russia, US-backed forces overthrew the Ukrainian government.  The new government includes powerful neo-Nazi and anti-Russian factions -- one of its first actions was to take legal steps to marginalize the use of the Russian language.  Predominantly-Russian Crimea then voted overwhelmingly to secede from Ukraine and rejoin Russia.  Western governments decry the referendum as fraudulent because of Russian troops moved there after the Ukrainian coup; other parties point out that Russia had an existing agreement with Crimea to have troops there and that the mostly-Russian Crimean population feared for its safety under the new Ukrainian regime.  From what I can tell, the more educated, honest, and thoughtful parties in the debate tend to side with Russia here. 

Now in the present day, the US has recently authorized itself to conduct attacks on Syrian soil.  This is ostensibly to attack ISIS, but in reality seems more likely to weaken Assad.  Again Putin has stepped in, sending Russian troops to fight ISIS and bolster Assad.  Putin is in this way directly working against actual US interests (which want Assad gone) -- while helping promote the cause which the US purports to stand for (fighting ISIS).

What we have here is a pattern:  Obama's America makes a move to expand its power overseas, and Putin's Russia then counters with a move that demonstrates superior intelligence, foresight, diplomatic gamesmanship, and ethical integrity.  Obama is outmatched by a far superior opponent, and the world death-toll from US wars is significantly lower for it.

A couple of astrological notes here, comparing the US chart with Obama's and Putin's.

Putin's Mars opposes the US Mars and squares Obama's Mars.  Hence:  conflict.  The opposition is easier to reconcile than the square despite being a more powerful aspect.  This may suggest that while Putin most certainly will work against Obama's interests, he does not necessarily work against American interests.

Also interesting (though I haven't done much with Pallas-Mars in synastry) is that Putin's Mars squares Obama's Pallas but sextiles the US Pallas.  This may well be a metaphor that Putin's skillful meddling works against Obama's "ethics" but actually agrees with the general "ethics" of the US itself.

I'm sure there's a lot more wealth to mine out of the comparison of these charts. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Boehner Bails

John Boehner, the "RINO King" and Speaker of the US House of Representatives, has announced that he is stepping down.  This is under intense pressure from the Republican rank and file who in turn are under pressure from their conservative base to defund Planned Parenthood, in the wake of recent scandals.  It's probably fair to say that the Republicans are eager to rediscover their purported conservatism as the 2016 election looms near.

John Boehner's natal birth time and the time of today's announcement are unknown to me, but there's still plenty of data to pick over when we look at Boehner's astro-weather for today.

Transiting stationary Pluto conjunct Boehner Venus; transiting Venus conjunct Boehner Pluto:  the death of the "gravy train".

Transiting Saturn conjunct (waning) Boehner Sun:  the end of a year or so of great pressure.

Transiting Uranus, Chiron, and Pallas aspecting Boehner Pluto:  unexpected developments, injury, and ethics/strategy triggering (a type of) death.

Solar arc Mars square Boehner Pluto:  again with the death thing.  Perhaps also representing a challenge against one's own Plutonian power.

Repuglicans, will you please pick better leaders in the future? 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Gail Tredwell's Holy Hell

This subject is slightly "off-topic" in that it does not concern politics.  It is "on topic" in that it involves a crisis of conscience (conscience and ethics being the center of libertarianism) and also in that religion and politics are held by many libertarians to be the same phenomenon. 

I've recently read the book "Holy Hell" by Gail Tredwell.  Tredwell was for two decades the chief attendant to the very popular Hindu spiritual guru Ammachi.  The book chronicles the author's entry into the service of the guru and the long series of events, from her point of view, leading to her disillusionment and exit.  The publication of the book created a furor in India and worldwide, though Ammachi and her organization have largely brushed off the controversy (Ammachi is at this point extremely politically connected and can probably escape serious threats to her power even if the worst allegations against her are true).

Tredwell alleges in her book that Ammachi is physically and psychologically abusive, has been secretly funneling money from her multi-million-dollar charities to her family, and has been lying about personal details such as celibacy.  Ammachi's organization has denied Tredwell's claims.  Parties connected to Ammachi have accused Tredwell of deception and mental illness.

Not having first-hand knowledge of either party, I take no official stand.  This said, my own astrological methods (demonstrated in hundreds if not thousands of cases in my online material) strongly support one side of the dispute.

First:  Ammachi's horoscope contains the Bloodbath Formula including an extremely "Dionysian" Pallas conjunction to the South Node.  This is no guarantee of wrongdoing but is highly consistent with the guru's unfavorable depiction in "Holy Hell".  I won't spell out the chart here, but it's easy enough to verify using one or two minor aspects. 

Second:  The chart I propose for Gail Tredwell fits her own self-description very well.  I assembled this chart from the birthday and approximate hometown location in the book, plus the year of birth from the Wikipedia article about her.  Using a default time of 12 noon gives us a number of very striking house placements which work well with Tredwell's narrative.  There may be other times that also work (for example, near sunset might explain some of the her health issues while arguably fitting with the narrative). 

ApollonianPallas septile Sun and quintile Mercury; Pallas ruler Venus conjunct/parallel Sun.
DionysianPallas in Eighth House semisextile Pluto.
This is an extremely "Apollonian", or ethical, chart.  This configuration is inconsistent with someone who would harm innocents for revenge or personal gain.

Ninth House concentration:  teaching, philosophy/religion, travel, publishing, or some combination thereof.  She's done all of these. 

Sun/Venus conjunct near MC:  publicly embodying grace and/or beauty.  She apparently did this as Ammachi's public "number two" for decades.

Mercury/Saturn in the Tenth House:  managing and coordinating Ammachi's organization were central to her work there.

Moon in the Twelfth:  emotional connection to spirituality, a spiritual "mother figure", a possible lack of nourishment, and possible deception involved in all of these.   

T-square between Uranus in the Sixth, Jupiter in the Ninth, and Moon in the Twelfth:  tension between the rebellious servant, the secret life of the mother/family, and the public face of it all.

Pluto in Virgo at the Seventh House cusp:  "marriage" to an extremely powerful, controlling, potentially violent yet "virginal" personality.   

South Node in the Second House:  the giving away of one's stuff.  Repeatedly.

Mars in the Third opposite Sun/Venus:  sexual violence from a "sibling" is described in the book.

Third:  transits/progressions for Tredwell's "escape" as described in the book are also interesting.

Progressed Pallas conjunction to North Node:  the peak of a process lasting many years involving the awareness of ethics.  Decisions coming out of this sort of aspect tend in retrospect to be on the "right side of history".   This corresponds extremely well with the "crisis of conscience" Tredwell describes in her book. 

Transiting Mercury, Pallas, Venus, Saturn, and Uranus triggering Tredwell's natal Moon-Jupiter-Uranus T-square.  Something very significant was going to happen under this configuration.

Transiting Ceres sextile Tredwell Sun and progressed Ceres probably square Tredwell Moon:  Ceres/Sun/Moon patterns appear when people are "taken away". 

All of this "proves" nothing.  But were I forced to choose a side in this battle, the astrology (at least the way I practice it) would put me in the Tredwell camp.

I find the entire realm of spiritual enlightenment and its purported representatives (saintly and otherwise) to be utterly fascinating.  More posts on the topic may appear here, in part because I often get bored with politics. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Pablo Escobar

I've just binge-watched most of Season 1 of the Netflix series "Narcos", chronicling the career of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar and the campaign by governments to bring him down.  Escobar was an infamous mass-murderer on top of being a supremely successful drug dealer.  Violent criminals are philosophically "anti-libertarian" or "Dionysian" and their astrological charts share features reflecting this.  In the case of murderers, the Bloodbath Formula will virtually always appear in the birth chart.

Escobar's Bloodbath Formula:
1.  Pallas square Jupiter, conjunct South Node, and ruled by Venus which is contraparallel Pluto.
2.  Venus square Neptune.
3.  Venus contraparallel Pluto.
4.  Moon trine Pluto.
5.  Sun trine/contraparallel Pluto.

Some other aspects of interest:

Moon-Jupiter-Neptune T-square:  befitting a distributor of drugs.

South Node conjunct Neptune and North Node in the Second House:  converting drugs into money. I've seen the North Node in the Second in the charts of other successful businessmen (both legal and otherwise). 

Pisces Rising:  again with the drug dealing

Mars conjunct Saturn in the Seventh:  the Mars/Saturn connection seems to come up (in my experience) in the charts of builders of organizations.  In the Seventh it may also suggest struggles with partners and enemies. 

Had Escobar focused more on his political career and less on his drug empire, he might have made less money but had a much longer career as a criminal.  For the State is the most powerful criminal organization of all, and it will always neutralize or kill its competition. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Apollonian - Dionysian Spectrum

I had never heard of the Apollonian - Dionysian dichotomy until the Promethean Antagonist had mentioned it to me a few months ago.  Though it is a centuries-old concept and is central to the works of major philosophers from the mid-19th century onward, it is almost nowhere to be found in mainstream culture.

The idea is that we can separate human drives into two modalitites:

Apollonian:  logical, civilized, disciplined.  Associated with the Sun.
Dionysian:  irrational, emotional, chaotic.  Arguably connected with Pluto and/or Neptune.

Libertarians familiar with the underpinnings of their own political philosophy may recognize that libertarianism is deeply Apollonian.  Libertarianism at its core is based on rationality and non-aggression (reflecting a predilection for solving problems through dialogue and consensus rather than by force).  The statist impulse is one of Dionysian irrationality:  the sword before the pen and the battlefield before the negotiating table.  Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged can be said to depict a version of this dichotomy, fusing it directly with the libertarian-authoritarian spectrum.  

When we include the astrological Pallas in the mix, and peruse the thousands of examples of natal and event charts on this blog and associated web site, we can see that the Apollonian - Dionysian dichotomy is all about astrology.  Literally, and directly.  I believe that Nietzsche, Freud, Rand, Paglia, and others when discussing this dichotomy were actually discussing the astrological Pallas in different configurations.  We can express the dichotomy thus:

ApollonianPallas (or ruler) with Sun, Mercury, and/or North Node.
DionysianPallas (or ruler) with Pluto, discordant aspect from Jupiter, and/or with South Node. 

Apollonian aspects and transits give us Apollonian traits and actions. Libertarians and liberty, peacemakers and peace treaties. These things are effects of the "Apollonian" traits of favoring logic over emotion and impulse control over surrender to the id. 

Dionysian aspects and transits give us Dionysian traits and actions.  Statism, stupidity, war, killings, rape, and those who perpetrate such things.  These are effects of the "Dionysian" tendency to surrender to emotion and favor action over full logical consideration. 

Again, I refer to the thousands of examples in my online materials including this blog.  The correspondences between the astrological aspects and the sides of the dichotomy are so strong (not merely "statistically significant" but near-total) that one might well take them as "proof" that astrology itself is valid. 

In past, I've used different terms to describe the astrology of the Pallas spectrum (and the Apollonian - Dionysian dichotomy).  I've described "Apollonian" Pallas aspects as "libertarian" or "defensive" and "Dionysian" aspects as "authoritarian" or "aggressive" for years.  In the future, I'll try to use "Apollonian" and "Dionysian" so as to better relate my work to the rich existing body of Western philosophy. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Hungary Migrant Crisis

Hungary is flooding with immigrants, refugees from the Middle East and Africa fleeing the aftermath of US military interventions instigated by Barack Obama.

Current transits/etc. against the Hungarian independence chart are relevant: 

 Transiting Pluto in Fourth House square Hungary Mars (ruler of Seventh):  a destructive force (Pluto) on the land (Fourth House) involving "others" (Seventh House). 

Transiting Neptune (foreigners) entering Sixth House (population). 

Transiting Jupiter (expansion) and North Node (increase) entering Twelfth House (foreigners). 

Transiting Saturn conjunct progressed MC:  visible troubles. 

Solar Arc Neptune (dissolution, foreigners) conjunct Hungary Moon (people, culture, race).  

"Hope and Change", European style. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Serban Rusu

This post is "off-topic", being a survey of the astrological chart of an individual whose political views were not known to the general public, and whose life was primarily one of not politics but music.  Nevertheless, I suspect that this material will be of interest to some who may happen upon it by web search.  The subject was a truly influential person in my life and an inspiration to those fortunate enough to have known him.  Here I confine myself to a few biographical points and some observations on the birth chart.  Should I write a longer tribute in the future, it will probably appear not here but on my personal site


Serban Rusu (March 31, 1943 -- June 24, 2015) was a Romanian-born violinist and violin teacher who moved to America in early adulthood and stayed for the rest of his life.  He was a superlative violinist and a truly outstanding teacher who began his teaching career as assistant to Josef Gingold.  Not content with merely imparting his vast musical knowledge, he never stopped innovating in search of new approaches to violin technique and new ways to teach.  His former students who play professionally tend to dominate whatever context they work in, due to having received Serban's far-superior-to-the-norm training.  They tend to display both exquisite technique and deep musicianship, and are a legacy of which Serban was justifiably proud. 

Not only was Serban a great music teacher but also an inspirational figure who taught everyone around him to live with both chutzpah and grace, a sort of Romanian "Zorba the Greek" or a Right-wing Robin Williams.  He was, at turns, consummate artist and brilliant clown, Zen master and hedonist, philosopher and fool.  He was often infuriating and always inspiring, deftly navigating in life, what he saw as an all-important balance, in music, between the vulgar and the sublime.  His genius and his generosity could not help but enrich the lives of the many with whom he shared his great light.  Even as he battled a crippling Parkinsons'-like disease in the last third of this life, he never lost his spirit, his optimism, or his drive to wring every last drop of experience from the time he had left. 


I don't have a time of birth for Serban, and do not have a precise location (he was born in a part of Romania that is now in Ukraine).  Using a default time of 12 noon gives us many house placements which correspond well with his personal traits.  I've taken the liberty of moving the proposed time of birth to 11:30am. This gives puts Jupiter rising (fitting his outsized temperament), the North Node in the Second (fitting his departure from Communism, his financial success, and his decidedly conservative politics), Neptune at the IC (reflecting his love of the water and nautical pursuits, and his determination to live by the ocean), Pallas at the MC trine the Ascendant (perhaps, prominent intelligence and physical agility), and Juno at the Descendant (perhaps representing his wife Kyoko, whose commitment to Serban was unwavering and total).  In addition, using a "primary direction" technique, a time of 11:30am puts the Moon on the Descendant around when he relocated to the US and Mars on the Descendant when he married Kyoko.  Finally, relocating this 11:30am chart to his home of Tiburon, California, puts his Sun in the Third House of communication (as befits a teacher), the Moon on the Second House cusp (his home was beautifully and lavishly decorated) and Saturn in the Fifth (he and Kyoko had no children of their own).  I am no expert in rectification but feel "pretty good" about 11:30am. 


Great musicians tend to have mysterious/transcendent Neptune in relationship to one or both of the Luminaries and/or some equivalent configuration.  Here we have the Sun widely opposite Neptune (bridged by helpful Mercury conjunct the Sun).  Neptune is also conjunct the IC and sesquiquadrate Mars, ruler of the Sun.  This gives us strong embodiment of Neptune's otherworldly powers without, perhaps, some of the pitfalls (such as delusional or self-destructive tendencies) that sometimes accompany hard Sun-Neptune aspects.

Great instrumentalists, in my experience, also tend to carry a complex which combines Venus (art/aesthetics), Mars (action), and Saturn (structure/discipline).  Here we have Venus square Mars which in turn is ruled by and trine Saturn.

The violin is an instrument requiring great physical dexterity.  In my experience this is indicated by connections from Pallas (intelligence/skill) to Mars and/or the Ascendant.  This chart has a prominent Pallas at the MC trine the Ascendant.  


Jupiter in Cancer on the Ascendant:  Serban was a generous and outspoken teacher (Jupiter on the Ascendant) whose primary activity (Ascendant) was to nurture and develop (Cancer) young (and not-so-young) musicians.

Jupiter square Sun and quincunx Mars:  this tense "fire planet triangle" seems to reflect his seemingly endless excitement and optimism... which would sometimes result in spectacular clashes with those around him.

Sun conjunct Mercury in Aries in the Tenth House:  aggressively communicative, brilliantly intellectual, and brashly opinionated.  In a very public way.

Pluto in the First House:  while he would certainly nurture and inspire his students, he would also often dominate them. 

Saturn conjunct Uranus in the Eleventh House:  perhaps representing his clashes with fellow teachers and with authorities in educational institutions. 


Serban was an ardent anti-Leftist and would delight in verbally tearing down modern-liberal ideology. to the chagrin of his liberal California students.  No doubt some of this sentiment came from his first-hand view of the Communist horror of his native Romania.  It also appears strongly in the chart.

LibertarianPallas parallel Mercury; Pallas co-ruler Jupiter square Sun; Pallas co-ruler Neptune opposite Mercury
AuthoritarianPallas mundane-square Jupiter
I can't recall a single case in which a mundane square between Pallas and one of her "enemies" was the deciding factor in a political reading.  My suspicion is that Serban might have eventually become a full-on libertarian had he been more interested in the nuts-and-bolts of political-economic theory.

CapitalistNorth Node in the Second House; Venus in Taurus.
Collectivist:  Nothing.
Not a Socialist bone in his body.  More Ayn Rand than Rand herself, astrologically speaking.

LiberalNeptune conjunct IC
Conservative:  Nothing
Not a cultural conservative.  He had no particular drive to preserve any traditional culture outside that of classical music. 

From the chart, Serban's Right-wing affiliation comes from a libertarian/anti-authoritarian streak and a strong sense of private property ownership. 


Sometime around 1990, Serban began experiencing significant symptoms resembling Parkinson's Disease.  I remember that it started with a persistent tremor in his hands and eventually progressed to a near-complete inability to control his movement.  Around this time, primary direction would have placed the North Node at his Ascendant (karma plus movement) and the Huber Age Point would have been near his Mars / South-Node conjunction.  His progressed Moon would have been parallel with his progressed Mars, two years before which he would have experienced a triple-parallel of the progressed Ascendant, MC, and North Node.

The natal chart also carries many suggestions regarding the nature of the malady.  Many of these aspects are not necessarily disastrous on their own, but the sheer number of them does suggest problems. 

Mars (ruler of Sun) conjunct South Node:  eventual loss of physical power and masculine energy, which is strong to begin with.

Mars sesquiquadrate Neptune:  the occultation or disappearance of physical energy?

Neptune opposite Sun:  drained vitality.

Neptune opposite Mercury:  potential trouble with the hands and/or communication?

North Node conjunct Chiron:  possibility of injury/debility later in life.

Saturn conjunct Uranus in the Eleventh House:  difficulties with the nervous system (Uranus).


Serban passed away at home on June 24 2015 sometime before 9pm.   Some of the transits/progressions/etc. he was undergoing at this time:

Huber Age Point conjunct Ascendant:  start of a new cycle. 

Transiting Pluto opposite natal Jupiter:  ending/transformation of a journey. 

Transiting Pluto trine natal Venus:  a great gift bestowed. 

Transiting Uranus square Ascendant and conjunct solar arc Moon:  interruption in life force.

Transiting Chiron conjunct natal Pallas and quincunx natal Chiron:  injury/struggle with intellect.

Transiting Ceres conjunct Moon and sextile Sun; solar arc Ceres quincunx Moon and square Sun:   The Ceres/Sun/Moon triad is often present when persons are kidnapped or taken away

Transiting Mars in the Twelfth House square natal Neptune:  activation of a mystery.

Transiting Venus and Jupiter conjunct natal North Node:  a major boon received.

Progressed Venus conjunct natal Pluto:  value destroyed or massively amplified, or both. 

Progressed Moon and solar arc Jupiter conjunct IC:  an ending and a new journey?