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'

Parans (resurfaced)

Parans are the true angular relationship between planets and/or stars. When a planetary body rises, sets, culminates, or is at the nadir (the lowest point under the earth/the foundation of the chart), and another planet or star is exactly rising, setting, culminating, or at the nadir, they are said to be in paran with one another. Parans in a natal chart, as well as in mundane (world event) astrology, are quite illuminating. They show intense combined energy. 

These are the parans for 11/11/2010 (the time/date this post was originally written).

The above image is a "paran clock;" a tool which allows us to visually experience any paran relationship (mundane square) between two planets. Notice the exact angular relationship (though it looks like a conjunction) between Venus and Pluto - located at the top of the chart @ 10:30am PDT. Venus is culminating, "M" stands for Meridian, while Pluto is rising in the East, "E."  Notice in the chart below Venus is culminating, but Pluto is not very angular by ecliptic degree. You can see below how the two-dimensional chart breaks down; it can't capture the actual spatial relationship between planets, it only captures them by zodiacal degree. 

Charles Jayne in 'Horoscope Interpretation Outlined' notes: "It has been found that if during the prior or following day two bodies have this relationship, even if they are not on those local planes now, they still act in a paran manner."  

In the image below you can see Pluto is clearly on the horizon while Venus is culminating (at the MC). The horizon is the Ascendant, and is what astrologers refer to as the rising sign. Pluto's true relationship to the horizon isn't accurately portrayed in the chart above. Pluto isn't even in the Ascending sign in the chart above, but it is on the horizon. 

I think this phenomenon, Pluto on the horizon while Venus culminates, would have been exceptionally important to the ancients, just as stars on angles were. Of course Pluto is invisible to the naked eye so they wouldn't have actually made this specific observation. But a paran can occur between many planets (and planets with fixed stars) and are visual statements that cannot be denied. Today we often miss seeing these truly angular relationships, because we view everything as if it were on the ecliptic (the Sun's path). It's good to jump off the ecliptic once in awhile...

More on parans in the future. 

The Ugly Truth? March 19 Full Moon


The Full Moon occuring on March 19 is being called a super moon because it is particularly close to the earth. The exact time of the Full Moon is 11:10AM PDT (2:10PM EDT). Occurring in the tropical and sidereal signs of Pisces and Virgo, this lunation emphasizes concepts of sacrifice and/or service. The Sun and Moon sit tropically at 28 degrees 47 minutes (chart below).

Interesting to note the Heliacal Rising star for the day is Deneb Algedi, located in the sea goat's tail in the constellation of Capricornus. Deneb Algedi, the "ancient law giver," is a justice-oriented star and, according to Bernadette Brady, is symbolic of an "ancient god who was seeking to bring civilization to his people." It promotes benefic rulers. And when it's rising she says it relates to the seeking of "legal, physical or metaphysical laws that govern the world," and of "knowledge or solutions... endeavoring to help others in one's community." I think the reference to serving our community is quite interesting here, as is the mention of physical or metaphysical laws (or limits) governing the world. We'll return to this idea when we consider Hades, another important point in the lunation chart. 

The Heliacal Setting star for the day is Regulus. A star located in the heart of the lion in the constellation of Leo. This star points to "the need to avoid revenge." It can indicate success and natural talent (military success is related to Regulus as well), but one must be careful to avoid hubris and excessive anger. 

Could we say:  The time for revenge and dictatorship is Setting (or needs to set) -- and the time for service in one's community and benefic leadership is on the Rise..? As always, I hope so.

Full Moon chart on the pie wheel set in Washington DC:

dc supermoon.jpg

There are many interesting points to note with this Full Moon. It is square the nodal axis and square the Dec 21, 2010 Total Lunar Eclipse. Jupiter is culminating, while Saturn lies at the Nadir. The Mercury Saturn opposition has passed, but is actually very strong by paran (chart at bottom of this article). Other important parans for the day are: Moon rising (E) with Uranus setting (W), and Mercury Jupiter rising (E) while Pluto culminates (M). Parans are important combined planetary statements. For more information on parans see my previous post

Now I'll head to the 90 degree dial, with the TNPs (transNeptunian planets - used commonly by Uranian or Symmetrical astrologers). On the dial there is something that catches our attention right away: Hades

super moon dc 90.jpg

(See Hades snuggled right in between the Sun and Moon.)

Hades (the symbol at the top of this article - a waning crescent with a cross) is a hypothetical planet, though it very likely has a body floating around out there in the Kuiper belt somewhere. In addition to symbolizing things used, old, and thrown out, it signifies those things which are hidden or from the past and therefore relates to astrology and the occult. 

Hades sometimes carries with it connotations of sickness and deformity and importantly nursing, i.e. providing relief to those things (including parts of ourselves and other people or places) that we'd rather not look at. In its highest expression it relates to selfless service, pure unadulterated service provided without ego-attachment or a need for recognition. It is giving even though you may receive nothing in return. This echoes (the Full Moon) Virgo/Pisces - and is a perfect synthesis of the two.

At this lunation, Hades is in a precise square to the Sun and Moon. It currently presides in 28 deg 47 min of Gemini (the exact degree and minute of this mutable Full Moon). And it sits very close to the Nodes (the south node specifically). The Nodes signify connections - fated, possibly karmic, and just unions generally. Hades with the Nodes will likely bring a greater concentration of, and focus on, things like poverty and stormy circumstances, even literally stormy weather and floods. It may contribute to an increased interest in hidden knowledge, objects,or people; thingsfrom the past. It may also signify bringing to light (Full Moon) some criminal activity or deeply buried secrets held by governments or others in power. 

If we direct our attention specifically to the Sun Moon Hades combination, some other important points also come into focus. 

supermoon dc hades.jpg

You can see on the dial some other points are strongly connected (note the midpoint lines tying these objects together) to this Full Moon. Two more hypothetical planets are illuminated: Cupido and Apollon. But even if we took these points out, we would be left with the Full Moon occurring at the precise Neptune Ascendant midpoint (for Washington DC). This is powerful and ought to be quite descriptive. Will there be more fraud and deceipt coming to light, or being actively hidden? Neptune Ascendant also signifies weakness or illness, even poisons; who is at risk, who needs healing - the government, the American people? Likely both.

Yet another expression of Neptune Ascendant is sensitivity. Some could likely use a little more, especially if it means developing more compassion and trusting intuition instead of listening to the 'experts' or to people who don't have your best interest in mind. Neptune Ascendant can dissolve things too. Aren't we, as a collective, in the midst of recognizing just how much there is to "clean up?" Neptune, like water, is a universal solvent.  

Speaking of cleaning, other Hades significations are things dirty, ruined, ugly, or just plain mean. Hades also rules catastrophes. To be blunt, I think this lunation is forcing us to look at the ugly truth. With the other two TNPs playing into this picture, Apollon with Neptune, and Cupido with Pluto, the ugly truth gets more descriptive. It is one involving corruption, mass deception, and "bad smelling matters" (Neptune Apollon = Hades per Alfred Witte's book, Rules for Planetary Pictures), where social and family conditions are in decline and communities are suffering (Pluto Cupido = Hades). In light of Japan's earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear issues; dictators killing their people; and increased attention finally illuminating our country's greedy and malicious Wall Street bank robbers, is it really a surprise we'd find this reflected in the current lunation?

So how can we use these energies to serve something more positive? By actively directing them into something for the common good. I think we must take action. We must participate in the solution. Uranus, the planet of revolution and change, is part of this picture too and there is no time to waste. Contribute in whatever tiny way you can. Drive your car less. Better yet, sell it! Especially if it's a gas-guzzling S.U.V. The days of mass-consumption are Over. Participate in making a better future (ensure a future period), don't turn the other way and contribute to the problem. (Okay, enough ranting..)

One last thing I'd like to point out about these combinations is that they are actually quite beautiful for those interested in or who study and practice ancient astrology. It is a highly favorable time for the occult sciences. The wisdom of the past meets a science for the future.  

Ne + Ap = Ha  Su  Mo

Paran chart :

supermoon paran best.jpg

I welcome you to leave comments +/or feedback.

Planetary Parans

Planets in paran are important indicators of combined planetary energy.

All astrologers will agree that when planets are on angles they are "strong." And when you have two (or more) planets on two angles simultaneously, then, not only are the energies considered very strong, but they are also relating to one another. This can lead to either a synthesis of energy or a frustration of energies, depending on the two planets involved. Just think about the two planets. Do they work well together? Or is there dissonance? What might a more difficult combination be good for? (Maybe relentlessly pursuing tedious and difficult tasks...)

Let's look at some examples. (Note: for consistency, I'm using the same point in time for all locations. The time shown on the charts is local time for the place named. All times are 15:00 GMT.)

Today's paran chart for the West Coast of the United States: 

qqq us.jpg

First, notice where there are overlapping lines. Those lines combining with other lines, that each indicate a different angle, are the most important. For example, an 'E' (East, or rising) with a 'M' (Midheaven, or culminating point). You can see in the chart above that there are a few times today when two planets are on different angles simultaneously. This is important for understanding the energy of the day. And is also potentially very important for knowing when that energy will be making its greatest impact in the locale being considered. 

Notice Jupiter (E) rising, while Pluto (M) is culminating at around 8AM in the paran chart above. (I realize it is hard to see the lines clearly when they are bunched up. Sorry.) What I wan't to point out is how easy it can be to overlook important indicators of the day (or combined planetary energies) when looking only at a regular "pie wheel" chart (below). 

pie mar 17.jpg

Yes, Pluto and Jupiter are close to the angles in this chart, but it misses the emphasis placed on their true paran relationship.

In fact, by typical astrological standards, they are in a wide aspect---a four degree separating square (well, wide for Uranians).

By paran however, they are in a very strong relationship for the time of day.

Another use for the paran chart, or paran clock, is to see quickly when certain relationships are forming on the angles. And you'll see that the time of day doesn't actually vary that much worldwide---but how precise the paran relationship is, can vary largely---and this is quite important.

Take for example the Moon rising (E) while Neptune is setting (W) at about 4:45PM in the paran chart. In Seattle, at that time (chart below), the Moon Neptune combo is in a fairly close opposition near those angles. 

pie mar 17 mo ne.jpg

And as you can see in the chart below for London, Moon Neptune is strong as well. However in other places in the world (charts at the bottom of the article) you'll find the Moon Neptune combo happening at a roughly similar time, but its true paran relationship breaks down completely. And this is important.

This is the paran chart for today in London: 

qqq uk.jpg

With regards to Moon Neptune, what might this speak to for the day? Increased sensitivity, possibly compassion. Maybe a time of marked receptivity or dreaminess. A need for relaxation, or escapism---did somebody say Happy Hour?

There is another important paran taking place in both charts and that is between Mercury and Saturn. (This accentuates the currently building Mercury Saturn opposition. But it is important to note that planets in paran relationship are not always in aspect.) So this evening while Mercury sets (W) Saturn rises (E) a little before 9PM. And, as you can see, this paran holds up, it remains strong.

Think about what this combination can indicate. Gloominess, a somber mood, serious or even depressed thinking. Likely it reflects the collective sadness we feel with what has happened this past week. Maybe it is indicative of worry, or even fearful thinking; with what's up globally and nationally right now, that's not surprising. Rigorous study is another way to think of Mercury Saturn. Its effect late this evening could assist or prod us in thinking carefully about what measures or steps we may need to take in order to ensure our own safety locally and/or globally. Or maybe it is simply descriptive of a time when many of us are thinking more realistically about our future, and our limited stay here on the planet. What can we do to responsibly contribute to the health of our planet, or to our communities?

To get a better picture of how things can look quite different by paran in other parts of the world on the same day, I've included the charts of Mumbai, India and Singapore:

qqq ind.jpg

There are several things of interest here, but we'll just touch on a few.

Notice first that Moon Neptune is happening at a similar time of day, but are not closely aligned in paran anymore. Meaning, at the time the Moon and Neptune crossed over their respective angles they were not in a strong aspect (opposition). This may indicate that these particular energies won't be felt quite as strongly as they are by those of us in the U.S. and U.K. today.

Also notice the Mercury Saturn we were referring to before. It loses strength, as does the Jupiter Pluto combination in the morning. One eye catching thing that stands out in the chart for India is Uranus culminating (M) while Pluto is setting (W) at 1:15PM. These two planets are not even close to being in paran in all of the other charts! The same goes for the combination of Saturn and Pluto at 2:15AM. Consider these energies. Pluto is indicative of development and transformation; with Uranus, expect things to be sudden or revolutionary; with Saturn, it could be hindered or difficult. These are just examples, not predictions.

qqq sing.jpg

In Singapore, by contrast, as far as planetary parans go, well... things look pretty mellow.

To conclude, obviously there are many, many ways to interpret planetary energies. And I encourage you to play with this a bit. Apply it to some of the combinations mentioned, find some others. Think about what is going on where. If you'd like to share, leave a comment. 

One final important thing to note---parans can be applied to the natal chart! They offer undeniably powerful descriptors for character and activity.