reclaiming the apocalypse

Antoni Tapies, Grey and Green Painting 1957 © Foundation Antoni Tapies, Barcelona/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2002

The meaning of the word apocalypse has been unfairly disfigured. It has been hijacked by monotheistic religions, with their linear constructs and notions of time. Most people have come to think of End Times when they hear the term. This is quite unfortunate, because I think much of what is in the news right now is incredibly apocalyptic, and that is not a bad thing, but (from my perspective) quite a good thing in many ways. Certainly it is worth observing. 

From wikipedia:  "An apocalypse (ἀποκάλυψις, meaning 'un-covering'), translated literally from Greek, is a disclosure of knowledge, i.e., a lifting of the veil or revelation..."

However, if you look up apocalypse in most dictionaries you will find: 


  • 1 (often the Apocalypse) the complete final destruction of the world, especially as described in the biblical book of Revelation. See also Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
  • (the Apocalypse) (especially in the Vulgate Bible) the book of Revelation.
  • an event involving destruction or damage on an awesome or catastrophic scale: a stock market apocalypsean era of ecological apocalypse


        Old English, via Old French and ecclesiastical Latin from Greek apokalupsis
         from apokaluptein 'uncover, reveal', from apo- 'un-' + kaluptein 'to cover'

Noteworthy BBC radio program:  In Our Time, The Apocalypse. Melvyn Bragg examines how a powerful narrative of judgement and retribution evolved.

I don't think many would disagree, given the original meaning of the word, that we are swimming in apocalyptic revelations this season. My friend and fellow astrologer Frederick Woodruff teases me with the phrase Apocalyptic Chic, to describe this time and I a bit of an obsession noting all of its seemingly related unfoldments. If you're interested in the astrology of it, I have a few observations to share below. Last month, I wrote a brief piece when I was feeling the deep rumblings, or rather this thing emerging with a striking yet essential quality about it, via current affairs. The post was titled Truth

Everywhere I turn, every morning I wake, it seems there's another big, strange announcement in the news. This morning the radio woke me with the FDA finally taking seriously the disease producing reality of trans-fats, declaring these partially hydrogenated oils to be no longer 'generally recognized as safe.' Did it need to take this long? I guess so. You can't rush the unfolding I suppose. (I have always avoided these and had a very bad feeling about how much more harmful they are than was admitted.) Fukushima, another obviously hot topic (literally) - and likely still hotter than many will admit, seems to be taken a bit more seriously now. Emerging on BBC, CNN, and the other main news sources, it is at least accepted that this "disaster remains a giant, unresolved mess." Still, some want to minimize it. On Tuesday, I-522, a bill for labeling GMOs, was not passed here in my home state. But as a friend and nutritionist Stephanie Gailing points out, the fact that it didn't pass may bring even greater attention to it at this time. And then there is the Comet ISON; Meteors falling from the sky; jellyfish taking over the oceans; major solar flares and threat of a blackout; and now a super typhoon. What next? 

With news like this, I can't help but think of my friend and teacher, Gary Christen, who is quite fond of the quote: 

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."
    --Arthur Schopenhauer, philosopher (1788 - 1860) 

The astrology certainly speaks to the time; as does the astronomy, for that matter (as you can see in heliocentric maps, from the sun's perspective, below). We are living in a very interesting cycle or transitional time. I think more than anything I find some comfort in the fact that much can be observed through the language of the stars. Whether we can make an absolutely accurate prediction about some matter is less important to me. What is important is context, and we're being given a lot of context right now. From here we can work out or imagine potential interpretations and scenarios, or we can simply observe. 

So now I'll barrage you with technical info. For those as nerdy as me, I've included many charts, beginning with the next lunation chart, followed by the chart for the original Fukushima Nuclear Disaster. On another page, you can find charts for the recent eclipse, as well as antiscia for November which includes Mars Uranus, and Saturn arriving on the cardinal axis (15 fixed/Scorpio is the midpoint of the start of two cardinal signs). I welcome others' comments and reflections below!

Note the degree of Algol (25/26 Taurus) emphasized in the upcoming lunation: a Full Moon on November 17th at 25°26 Taurus. Neptune sets with Chiron in both Japan's lunation chart and the 2011 disaster chart, interesting given the subject matter and the lack of transparency around it. 

     Full Moon runs with Algol - Saturn on cardinal axis 





Full Moon in Washington DC - Uranus Pluto emphasized again as it was at eclipse  +  as is Mercury Node (more revealed)

Mars Saturn antiscia + Uranus on Aries point

Note the degree of the Midheaven. By secondary progression it has moved to 24'06 Taurus.

Polar Azimuthal map of world at time of incident. 

Mars Saturn antiscia and Uranus came to zero Aries on the day of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
(The Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami occurred the day before; Uranus was at 29°58 Pisces.)

The Polar Azimuthal map on the right shows the world from a pole view at the time of the incident. It also allows us to see what planets will be in paran for the day. This map is a dynamic feature of Nova Chartwheels, and can't be properly conveyed through a snapshot. The blue arrow points to the star Algol (shown by the second little black dot), and it indicates Algol was pretty much directly overhead at the time of the disaster. The declination for Algol is +40.57' which is the latitude for northern parts of Japan (as well as many other countries). Importantly however, Uranus, which was sitting directly on the Aries point that day (world axis point), was in paran with Algol; when Algol set, Uranus was angular on the Nadir. I find this interesting given the upcoming lunation occurs at the projected ecliptic degree of Algol. Maybe it simply underscores that this event and situation has come to light in a powerful way, and is of huge concern globally. I do find it interesting that the planned start for the decommissioning process is mid-November around the time of the Full Moon. 

Another thing brought to my attention via Gary Christen and Arch Crawford is the heliocentric perspective of planetary confluences for the month. Astrologers have been quite focused on the Uranus Pluto squares (we've just passed the 4th of 7), and yes ! they are a very big deal for everyone. When we observe astrological phenomena we are taking it in through the earth's perspective (geocentrically). We look at the transits, noting events and mundane affairs, and interpret planetary compositions in personal ways or on a psychological level through our own charts. The Mercury retrograde cycle joining Saturn and the Node, and the Sun and Moon at the eclipse, for instance has been quite profound. It speaks to these themes of knowledge revealed, uncovering, and revelations in undeniable ways. 

The heliocentric perspective offers another layer maybe. One that is off planet; possibly, and probably, at least it feels this way, totally out of our control. In Christen's words, helio "becomes important for large scale changes on the earth, kind of like the cardinal axis in so far as larger events that go on. . . it will reflect large scale changes in and dispositions of the markets." Because from the sun's point of view planets are always moving forward, never turning retrograde, when an aspect perfects, it only does so once. The upcoming one heliocentric Uranus Pluto square (on November 23) then seems something exceptional to note.  

At nearly the same time (within a week+) Jupiter joins the picture (Nov 12/13), making an opposition to Pluto and square to Uranus - and so creates a T-square - which occurs when UR PL are within only 03 minutes (not degrees!) of exactitude.  Jupiter Pluto = Uranus  
Meanwhile, on the same day Mars perfects in square with Saturn.

Christen emphasizes the rarity of this alignment, saying "there is no precedent for this in history. . .You cannot find anything heliocentrically that has a T-square within 5 minutes of arc of perfection. . ." Crawford says the same in a video post. Both think it has to do with solar flares: "a mammoth disturbance in the solar system," potentially frying our electric grid, leading to big big problems that would not be quick to fix. Or, as Christen suggests, because on the 13th the Earth (brown globe) is not involved, it could be "a mammoth flare that may graze the earth, but probably will do other damage in the solar system that will be observable. . . we'll see." I think the timing given other factors I've been examining is mind-boggling.

Track solar flares in real time @ NOAA here.  

HELIO Jupiter Pluto opposition + Uranus square -- at the same time: Mars Saturn perfect in square

On 90 degree dial - emphasis on exactitude of aspectual connection 


Whatever might happen I recommend being prepared as you would for an earthquake, just in case: extra water, food, warmth, and cash in your home.



Venus comes to Uranus, Nov 9, around 10pm est 
(Ve joins the t-square before Ju Ur Pl perfects) 

NOV 12/13
Jupiter comes to Uranus, Nov 12, 10:30pm est
(Mars is applying by 27 min to Saturn) 
Jupiter comes to Pluto, Nov 13, 3:20pm est
(Ma app 09 min to Sa) 
Mars comes to Saturn, Nov 13, 11:59pm est
(Ju+Ur=Pl picture: 02/03 min exact) 

NOV 23
Uranus perfects square to Pluto, Nov 23, 7am est
(Ju is less than 1 deg (45min arc) out of T-square)
Also, per Arch Crawford, Mars/Earth = Pl [Ur]


Be well. 
And be in touch! 


'Critical degree'

'Critical degree'

ALGOL : Ardor or Fury

Much about sex and brutality has come to light and been in the news the past week. At the same time the star Algol is being activated repeatedly. Algol (also known as Medusa) is located in the constellation of Perseus. Algol is the Gorgon's decapitated head which Perseus, the son of Zeus, holds in his hand. You will find many clues to Algol's meaning in the stories surrounding Medusa, her rape by Poseidon, and betrayal and outcasting by Athena. One brief synopsis of the story is here - and a good compilation of others, here

"Al Ghūl literally signifies a Mischief-maker, and the name still appears in the Ghoul of the 'Arabian Nights' and of our day." —Richard Hinckley Allen

Algol is known by other names too. According to Bernadette Brady in her book 'Star and Planet Combinations,' Rā's al Ghūl, a name given by the Arabs, means "the Head of the Demon, and they considered this demon to be the wife of the Devil." Tseih She, is the name given by the Chinese, meaning "Piled-up Corpses." In the book 'Star Names; Their Lore and Meaning,' Richard Hinckley Allen writes: "The Hebrews knew Algol as Rōsh ha Sātān, Satan's Head, Chilmead's Rosch hassatan, the Divels head, but also as Līlīth, Adam's legendary first wife, the nocturnal vampyre from the lower world that reappeared in the demonology of the Middle Ages as the witch Lilis, one fo the characters in Goethe's Walpurgis Nàcht."  Returning to this association as the first wife of Adam, Lilith, who left him "because she refused to be submissive to his needs," Brady writes:

"Algol came to embody everything that men feared in the feminine. She is not the mother face of the goddess but rather the passionate lover or the whore... This star contains immense female passion and power, or the potential power of Mother Nature, strong but not evil."

Whether as the Head of Medusa, Caput Gorgonis, Lilith, or another name, Algol may be perceived as the face of the outraged feminine. In Algol we may find the power and potential for intense creativity and passion, or else destructive anger and rage. Obviously relevant for women, it is equally if not more so for men. This week, collective focus on Algol makes it relevant for everyone. 

[Interesting side note: both Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali had Algol conjunct planets in potent parts of their nativities. The "Queen of Jazz," Ella Fitzgerald, has Mercury conjunct Algol. Henry Miller's north node rests there, as does Oscar Wilde's; Mick Jagger's Moon. Another dimension: Rodney King was awarded nearly 4 million dollars after being savagely beaten by Los Angeles police officers; he has Jupiter conjunct Algol.]

Details in the dates:
Algol was activated at the New Moon solar eclipse on Thursday, May 9th. Occurring at 19'31 Taurus, a sign ruled by Venus, this eclipse was not conjunct Algol by "projected" ecliptic degree, but instead the Sun and Moon culminated in paran with Algol that day. A powerful statement

Backing up, Venus made her yearly reappearance as an evening star earlier in the week, while passing through Algol's projected ecliptic degree: 26/27 Taurus. Venus reemerged from her sojourn in the underworld (moving out from her sacrificial time behind the sun) and at the same time was transiting Algol; this is in my opinion a rare and therefore significant occurrence and omen.

Venus : Algol : Amanda Berry  

We find this potent point on the ecliptic (25/26/27 degrees Taurus) activated in the birth chart of a key figure, escapee Amanda Berry, who has her natal Venus in the exact same degrees of Taurus. Amanda Berry reemerged quite literally from the underworld at the same time as transiting Venus did in our evening sky. And Venus in her chart is doubly or triply important because it is the lord of both lights (the Sun and Moon).

Amanda Berry's birth chart -->
[exact time unknown]


There are other stories in the news that mirror the energies with great relevance, one being the horrific truth about military sexual assault. This story also broke around the same time as Berry's escape. And this week on PBS, on Monday May 13th, a program called The Invisible War premiered at the time Mercury the planet of broadcasting and communication came to Algol by ecliptic degree.

Why the sacrifice - why such horror? What next? 

I assume there is more to come, more will be brought into the light. The planet Mars is going to transit the degree of the solar eclipse on Thursday, May 16th. We may see publicized some corrective action. Or we may learn of more violent events relating to themes talked about here. It is quite interesting to note, and no accident of course, that the Sun (the light) will be at the ecliptic degree of Algol: 26/27 Taurus, at the time of Mars' transit. 


May 6/7 : Venus comes to Algol while making her appearance as an evening star
May 9 : Solar eclipse in Taurus, Sun/Moon culminate with Algol by paran
May 13 : Mercury comes to Algol (by ecliptic degree) - premiere of The Invisible War
May 16 : Mars transits degree of the eclipse, while the Sun comes to Algol (ecliptic degree)
Addendum: May 16 - Introduction of the "Military Justice Improvement Act" 
May 24/25/26 : Mars comes to Algol (by ecliptic degree) 

Be well. Channel your Al Ghūlian energies wisely.  



Moon in Liminal Space

The Moon is in Taurus today and passing through a "liminal" space in the heavens, where there are no constellations or stars touching the ecliptic. Liminal literally means threshold; it is the state of being in-between. It is a space of transition, and also one of mystery.


Hevelius, Firmamentum, 1690

This expansive stretch between Aries and Taurus is thought to be a place where planets can be characterized by a particular emotional heaviness. It is in this stretch that Algol, the severed head of Medusa, located in the constellation of the hero Perseus, stares angrily toward Cetus the sea monster. Algol represents raw, primal, [sometimes feminine] rage. And Cetus has an appetite for humans. With planets here (roughly 0 to 23 degrees Taurus) one can be especially sensitive to collective trauma and can, in a way, feel the pain or anger of the world.