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'


A time to contemplate impermanence.  

Francesca Woodman from Angel Series

Today: retrograde Mercury reconnects to Saturn in Scorpio near the north node of the Moon. (The lunar nodes are the eclipse points.) Saturn is the planet of truth. The Babylonians called Saturn Ninurta, and he held the tablets of fate and was known as the overseer of destiny. Mercury, known to the Babylonians as Nabu, was thought of as the scribe to the Gods. Mercury rules over communication, thinking, media, and marketing. At this time, governmental surveillance is further exposed and truths are emerging about the reality of the environmental predicament we are facing on earth, a predicament observable in our increasingly strange weather patterns and extreme storms, with likely more coming; news of 'nightmare' bugs and bacteria; and Fukushima's not impossible apocalyptic scenario. These facts coming to light will make many feel uneasy. Mercury Saturn is serious or deep thinking, and can be experienced literally as bleak news or a depressing state of mind. It is also logic and philosophy - exploring the depths and fundamental reality of things.

I think it is important to go further into the experience on a personal level now. Don't turn away from it. Use this time to really contemplate what gives your life meaning. Be honest, if only with yourself. Despair can be generative, but to what end? It is a time for facing the truth squarely, so that we can open the door to innovative ideas and stand up for what we know is right and just. Our survival depends on it. There is no time other than now. 

Mercury Saturn connect @ 13°19 Scorpio, today, October 29th. 
Mercury Sun connect @ 9°34 Scorpio when Uranus Pluto square perfects, Friday, November 1st. 
Mercury Node connect at the time of the Solar Eclipse
Solar Eclipse @ 11°15 Scorpio, Sunday, November 3rd.  

Mercury Saturn conjunction today (Seattle)                      Upcoming Eclipse chart for Washington, DC 

From the Omens of Babylon: Astrology and Ancient Mesopotamia (1994) Michael Baigent
The Combination of Stellar Influences (1972) Reinhold Ebertin

Climate change, not for the faint of heart: 
How Science is telling us to revolt
Arctic News




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.  



eclipse : new Saros Series : on the 90 w TNPs

Today, July 1, marks the very first eclipse of a new Saros Series. The series contains 72 eclipses in total with the final one occurring in 3237. This new moon/solar partial eclipse lands at 9 degrees 12 minutes of Cancer. The sabian symbol for this degree, 10 Cancer, is  A large diamond not completely cut. (Keyword: Latency.) If the eclipse falls in a prominent place in your own chart, i.e. conjunct or in dynamic aspect to one of your planets or angles, this might have pronounced meaning for you at this time.  

This birth of a new cycle is also meaningful for the collective.  

When we look at the eclipse chart on the 360 and 90 degree dials, some very important details pop out:

ec 4.jpg

First we see that the only planet directly on the cardinal axis is the TNP (transNeptunian) Hades. You can find more information on Hades in previous articles, but in essence Hades relates to service, things from the past, that which is dirty or worn out, difficulty and hardship, and things hidden like the occult.

ec 3.jpg

Moving to the 90 dial, we see more come to light as we turn the dial to 22.5:

Here we find Poseidon connected to Pluto + Kronos, with Mars close by. Poseidon rules light; it has to do with high-mindedness, understanding, philosophy and culture. It is like a higher octave of the planet Neptune, and so relates to spirit and enlightenment. The combination of Pluto and Kronos speaks to great change and/or development. All energies playing together should indicate some potential for highly transformative and spiritual development in the culture.  


ec 5.jpg

Another immensely important combination occurring at this eclipse is Pluto/Kronos falling at the precise midpoint of Mars and Jupiter.

If Mars Jupiter typically indicates successful action and Pluto is the result, it seems to speak of an enormously rich time for (or beginning of?) big changes and transformations occurring because of or through fortunate decisions or activities. With Kronos, it's knocked up a notch or, in a more mundane sense, makes reference to leaders or people in authority. 



ec 6.jpg

Venus also falls on an important axis:

Venus lies at the midpoint of three planetary configurations! In order, by tightness of orb, they are: Hades Node, Cupido Uranus, and Vulcanus Admetos. This could speak to some less than comfy circumstances as Hades Node can indicate unpleasant affairs or associations. However, if we consider the higher side of Hades -- service, tradition, or things from the past, it might be indicating more social interest in these matters. Certainly with the other combinations to Venus it could speak to continued difficulty for people and communities, but with the aforementioned potential for big time transformation it may just be showing the way to that transformation and why. Meaning: the culture is in trouble and sudden or drastic measures might need to be taken to deal with great obstacles, violence, or loss.  

I think because there is a strong Poseidon and Plutonian influence in this chart, what we will come to face as a culture, or as many cultures around the globe, we can work through.  To me, this illuminates the hindrances and limitations at hand and that more may arise, but that we can transcend, go beyond, grow from and out of a very difficult time. 

ec 7.jpg

One final midpoint to mention is Jupiter on the axis of Sun Neptune and Moon Neptune -- and in the US chart, Saturn MC. 

To me, this indicates optimism in the face of difficult circumstances and the unknown. Modesty and simplicity ought to be welcome and encouraged at this time. And what we don't know can help us, so keep an open mind. Imagine futures full of possibility, and work on keeping a compassionate outlook. 

Please feel free to leave a comment or ask a question, or offer your perspective!