Is life a journey? Does one day, month or year to another measure a distance, or does duration just go around in circles like the hands of a clock? What is this mysterious ‘Now’ the self continuously inhabits? Does it transcend time, or is it a piece in the journey’s jigsaw-puzzle? Is it ‘Country’? Is it emptiness? Is it no more than the struggle for existence between birth and death, or a moment of emergent Being as it learns and actualizes the interplay of an infinite array of evolving controls? A serious question: are you conscious or unconscious? In 17 days it will be 140 years since a ship’s apprentice by the name of Tom Pearce rescued Eva Carmichael, around 2 hours before a New Moon in Taurus, the only other survivor of the wreck of the Loch Ard. (No, they did not marry–read this eerie story, by Tony Wright, at the Sydney Morning Herald.)
A similar configuration of the southern stars is visible all over Eastern Australia. Come on, quit your studies and social media conformity, and bow with me to hear the Kyrie, at journey’s end. Along the Shipwreck Coast an estimated 638 journeys ended in tragedy. I’m afraid you’re staging for a free-kick if you can’t budge from your ideological opposition to the invasion which resulted from the courage of your ancestors lucky to get here to spawn you. Our lives are a complicated mechanism, and if truth be acknowledged, we are a little rusty. We have too many conflicting theories of how it works, and as many therapies for its repair in situ, but having eliminated religion and sympathetic magic, even applying objective understanding to the emotions, we find the mechanism lacking in an essential input, the lubricant of communion, the sense of shared energy within, and the security of being another’s Thou which comes with the faith that we can get inside each other.
“Man needs vengeance like a tired person needs a bath.” (Baudelaire.) The ‘Realm of Hungry Ghosts‘, represented in my charts as the Houses occupied by the Sun when we’re usually asleep, is always operating in us unconsciously, and if you’re stuck with an insatiable desire for revenge, an unshakable belief that you could be the person you want to be if someone’s actions hadn’t denied the possibility forever, or you can’t help loving it when you see another person suffering, you may need to enhance your conscious connection with where your dreams come from. Try closing your eyes in a public place and imagining there is no way of measuring how far away the hubbub is; or try in conversation to be the person your interlocutor thinks you to be.
Here is a chart which represents where the European invaders on the Loch Ard might have thought they were on the morning of their death so far from home.
The New Moon was soon to occur in Gemini, but there was nothing Springlike in the fog in which their journey ended, and no familiar Zodiac was lurking in the southern sky anyway. Woe at the Vertex (though it hadn’t been invented yet) was not an auspicious sign, but otherwise the portents for their new life in Terra Nullius seemed favourable enough. However, a local perspective tells a different story.
Sun and Moon were not highlighting the Ascendant House at all, but the Animal Realm, where taking yourself too seriously on awakening is a natural cover for ignorance, but it may have been the retrograde motion of dauntless Jupiter in relativist Capricorn and the idealist hunger of Cancer that did them in. Perhaps you should try to imagine this was you, but you should definitely eliminate the intergenerational trauma of not finding the Zodiac when you look to the south.
Back to 2018, when the IAC and tropical astrology agree that the May New Moon occurs in Taurus (1° and 14.6° respectively), but I have the Sun 2½ days away in Breamlea Aries. The important thing is to know where we are, and that is definitely not in a seasonal quarter neatly divisible by three. Deep Winter in Victoria arrives in a week, but it came early, didn’t it? Not only Southern Hemisphere Astrology believes that Kalgoorlie ego and mood are contiguous in the Bardo Realm of Hell, but arcane powers as well.
The Bardo Houses are identical on the same meridian north or south of the Equator, a facticity of profound interest to forces for integration and harmonious difference. You may imagine what use in diplomacy might be made of knowing the unconscious mood of entire populations, and being able to project it from your own experience. Furthermore, I am not the only one who has established that the Houses are opposite on the same meridian the other side of the geographic poles.
In the age of artificial intelligence and psychological and virtual warfare, these elements of Being have not gone unnoticed. Moscow’s meridian passes through the Middle East, Washington’s through Cuba and Ecuador. I believe I am at the forefront of incorporating elements of Australian Indigenous wisdom in my self-examination, formatting Milky Way configurations with the cardinal directions of Country, but I cannot be at all sure of that.
To succeed in life you must assert yourself. Don’t worry about who your self is–it’s a passive, defeatist predilection to think of life as a set of rules to obey, or a race you’re not winning, especially if you’ve retired hurt. Life is not a straight line, but cycles within cycles, circles intersecting incongruent circles, and you must always be ready, like a fox evading the hounds, to leap sideways, from one merry-go-round to another, one treadmill to another. Opportunism is a characteristic of the ground of being. If you reflect on your addictions, you will know how opportunistically they multiply their positive reinforcements.
“So you don’t have to look painfully for some kind of stepping-stone; instead, a stepping-stone presents itself in your life. You have the confidence to start on the first thing that is available within your experience—if you know the geography or road map of developmental psychological structures.
…If you try to create something by will, you have to use accidents as a way of channeling yourself.” (Chögyam Trungpa, Transcending Madness.)
Unconstrained by ego’s besieged battlements, the midnight mind
Hurls its toys against a nursery wall daubed
With experiments in defecation.
Try as noon might to wrest behaviour from dream
Boredom never surrenders
the puppet-strings of meaning.
[On May 19, when the Sun enters Taurus, until July 25, when it will be in Cancer, the nightfall Sun (12° below the horizon) will be in the House of Self-Improvement at the latitude of Melbourne. The naked-eye Breamlea First Crescent of Opportunism will be at 18:05 on May 17, but the Moon, in Taurus, will be in the House of Fear. At nightfall, 6° above the horizon, it will occupy its rightful place in the House of Self-Improvement. The nightfall Sun will be in House VII (Aggression) until Full Moon in Sydney (Campbelltown)-Margaret River, and all Lunar Month above Port Macquarie-Yanchep. Make hay while the sun shines.]
What just happened? It will keep university-educated top-down theorists ranting for four years, but the different ways in which resistance to meritocracy, globalisation and political correctness is evolving across the globe feels like a Peasants’ Revolt. Horror of horrors! The representatives of the deplorable, ignorant, racist, sexist, violent, unemployable rednecks have the controls!
But kids, slow down here! The voices now reaching a crescendo to match yours have been audible for years, and you have ignored them. Why? Why have you not seen (until now) that the structures and systems within which you struggle and prosper are a canon of righteousness and entitlement which is not inclusive at all, but exploitative and repressive, to a large percentage of the people you only know from what you’ve read and been taught?
Whether you call them peasants, or the working-class, bogans, suburbanites or deplorables, they only differ from you in not being practised in systematic analysis. They just know what they know. They’re only saying to you that they feel secure in the world you are taking away from them, the world in which they were productive and self-sufficient, and of distinct genders with community identities. The world they have faith in has lost its power, and that feels self-evidently wrong. Isn’t that how you also feel right now?
The Full Moon of November is always in one of the agrarian constellations of the Ram and the Bull. As Spring turns to Summer it descends to Full: it is lowly relative to the burgeoning midday Sun, as the emotions are secondary to the organisation of the enormous amount of work to be done. On the other hand, from the Northern Hemisphere the midday Sun appears low and the Moon high amongst the bales laid up for Winter. These are signs readily recognized by the bottom-up thinker.
The peasant, contrary to the ignorant, subservient boor caricatured in the stereotypical ‘silent majority’, has actually taken the first step towards enlightenment: he has aligned himself with the will of God, and is at the interface between individual truth and the mystery of the Holy Spirit. In history, he is the agrarian progenitor of civilization. He has both an intimate understanding of the scheme of things, and a point of view. Primal humanity, as an historical moment or stage in individual maturation, has an inherited view and a language with which to exchange and explore it. The peasant, in the constellation of the primal sign, is on the verge of adopting a view of his own.
Some peasants share the belief, rejected by science, that Supermoons, when Full coincides with Perigee, cause earthquakes. What possible basis could there be for connecting the New Zealand earthquake of Monday morning at longitude 173.02 with this?
On the same day, a new father emerges from a maternity hospital in Argentina for a cigarette. He tries to describe to himself the sensation of holding his new-born. He thinks he should feel different, that now everything has changed.
He does not believe in God, but in the ward it was as though a new spirit had arrived, and yet he could almost feel that the spirit of his child was made out of his and his wife’s in more than a physical way, that the baby had a past made out of the lives of its parents. Strange thoughts, especially when he turns them towards his own parents. He drops the butt of his cigarette and turns to go back in, thinking that he should return to work soon. He is aware of the immensity of his wife’s accomplishment, but for the new father, there are two more ephedrine deliveries due later in the afternoon.
All of a sudden, he becomes vividly aware of his surroundings in a weird way. The pavement beneath his shoes is more than naturally solid, and is curving away from him. The trees down the lane are standing at different angles to the ground. The clouds are still and the world is turning. The city around the hospital is droning and shuddering. It seems to have its own life, but in this strange moment it is an organism with a corpuscular traffic of drivers all like him, made out of their parents.
The world seems immense and small at the same time; empty of things, it is a corpuscular network of cities made out of the movements of people in moments like his, made like him out of their parents, their needs, their appointments. What time was the baby born? Is it a boy or a girl? Wow. This is like a dream.
On the same meridian around the other side of the world, or in the Underworld of the Argentinian–“Where does the Sun go when it goes down?”–the Moon is at transit over the Swan River.
I clasp you in my arms, boy of my youth. I know you would in this moment spill your last drop of blood for whom you love and what you believe in, if you but had the courage to be what you are…a peasant.
The reader will remember that the last memory to be erased by the Lethe—the Orion Arm of the Milky Way—is of the dark beauty Saiph, hoisting her dress to urinate on the bank. This month, the Moon learns more about her as he enters her Gate. A mass demonstration will be staged in Austin, Texas at 14:30 on Wednesday, to protest about women being treated like peasants. A delegation from the Australian Lock The Gate Alliance and the Northern Rivers Hate Out Of My Hills hippie divorcees community will attend. Thousands of T-Shirts are being distributed printed with this image.
On the same meridian, directly below—on Earth as it is in Heaven, as they say—lies the mighty Godavari River at Yanam in Andhra Pradesh. Peasants have been around a long time.
On the bank, a short distance from both a bridge and a ferry uniting north and south, stands a lingam flanked by two sacred elephants. Is this just coincidence? “The union of lingam and yoni represents the “indivisible two-in-oneness of male and female, the passive space and active time from which all life originates”. “…According to Vivekananda, the explanation of the Shalagrama-Shila as a phallic emblem was an imaginary invention. Vivekananda argued that the explanation of the Shiva-Linga as a phallic emblem was brought forward by the most thoughtless, and was forthcoming in India in her most degraded times, those of the downfall of Buddhism.” Wikipedia
How long will it be before gender equality needs no demonstration? How long before gender fluidity is embraced in its intuitive, bottom-up pattern; before geographical separation and the term ‘coincidence’ are dismissed as unreal? The Moon offers a peasant’s advice: there is no eternal life or death, thank God! Stop imagining yourself as a subject of laws; think with your heart and live in your soul, and if you get separated, go to a gate; but know your shadow, and translate yourself into many languages!
22:00 Thurs 22 Sept
Police have tonight issued a warning of dire consequences for any gullible skywatcher responding to an invitation posted on social media to a star party on the verge of the McGregor Rd off-ramp of the M1 at midnight. It is a hoax: people are warned that heavy fines will be incurred for obstructions to traffic, and that no geocache or Pokémon exists or should be sought in the area.
The following images were posted on the offending social media page.
The precise geographical longitude of the transit of the Southern Autumn Equinox point (opposite to Sun position) at the moment the Sun crosses the Equator:
A representation of the promised sky view:
And an astrological chart for the time and place:
Editor’s Astrographic Note:
Authorititave sources give the precise time of the equinox as 14:21:59 TDB, with the usual disclaimer about the impossibility of precise accuracy. When ∆T is added, our rudimentary software gives a local time which closely agrees with In-The-Sky.org and Stellarium (which admittedly deals in topocentric coordinates, not geocentric as in the official standard).
The following Stellarium-sourced slideshow demonstrates the effect of general precession on the geographical location of the Sun at Southern Spring Equinox over eight years (three leap-years).
Mars is in IAU Ophiucchus on April 17, or more accurately Scorpio, when it appears to stall before backtracking, about three-quarters of a finger-width west of Antares at transit (03:10 AEST). It crosses the Southern Hemisphere Astrology (SHA) boundary of Libra on June 2, goes ‘direct’ on June 30, and reenters Scorpio on July 29. SHA boundaries are projected across the sky by right ascension from equal divisions of the Ecliptic, originating at Iota1 Scorpii [Breamlea Zodiac]. The southern signs of Libra and Scorpio are equivalent to the northern tropical signs of Taurus and Gemini, not Scorpio and Sagittarius (northern tropical), or, heaven forbid, Libra and Scorpio (northern sidereal).
All astrologers abstract from reality. How could any prediction be otherwise? All astrological predictions, and I dare to suggest, any astrological observations, are derived from mathematical models of varying precision. This is a hidden element in the arbitrariness of orbs. My low-precision algorithms, developed with familiar mathematics to predict the arrival of stars in my ‘window’, are quite adequate for stargazing and horoscopes: within a few minutes in azimuth, and usually a minute in longitude and time. They are adequate for plotting planet positions in relation to stars, but admittedly inadequate for precisely timing conjunctions of planets.
When does Mars overtake Saturn? According to me, the conjunction on August 24 is at 19:32. Stellarium gives the topocentric ecliptic conjunction of Mars and Saturn over Melbourne at 21:27 AEST on August 24. Most sources I can find quote a geocentric conjunction at 21:26. According to high precision data from the US Naval Observatory, the geocentric equatorial conjunction (in right ascension: how SHA relates the planets to the stars) is at 03:50 AEST on August 26. Stellarium agrees. I’m not arguing, because my spreadsheet says 02:00. You will find conflicting information in these matters all over the web, because basically, people seldom acknowledge sources, and never quantify error.
The question above will be answered to my satisfaction when Saturn transits the meridian on August 26 at 18:36. Mars will be half a finger-width to the east. In these terms, Mars exits its retrograde zone on August 24, passing Antares at transit.
[At opposition on May 22, Mars is as bright as Jupiter, but will unfortunately cower in the proximity of the Full Moon. The opposition of Saturn on June 3, two days before New Moon, will not be so intimidated. It will shine as bright as Betelgeuse.]