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THERE’S NO ALEISTER CROWLEY “LITE”

peaches    crowley

A LEGACY THAT HAUNTS

It is an unpalatable thought, hopefully not true but plausible, that when in 2014 Peaches Geldof tragically died of an overdose of heroin, she could be considered the latest victim to the ongoing influence of Aleister Crowley (1875 -1947), once dubbed “the wickedest man in the world”.

All said and done, there is a trail of persons who have gone mad, finished alcoholic, drug addicted or suicidal in the wake of falling under the sway of this person who taught that “God” could be worshipped including through drugs – which I don’t suggest Peaches was doing. She was trying to escape addiction and had even apparently succeeded a few months prior, but if an addictive weakness was in her, certainly the example and teaching (including that “death is the crown of all”) of the himself heroin addicted Crowley, would scarcely have helped.

And Peaches’ family had been disturbed by the interest that she had developed in this dangerous magus or Satanist whom she told her thousands of Facebook followers was a fascinating person they should study and who wasn’t a Satanist really. Peaches herself was serious enough about Crowley to have had OTO tattooed on her underarm (initials of a sex magic organization associated with Crowley and to which she at one time belonged).

Doubtless Crowley was not the most wicked man in the world the press once said he was if he is judged by the standards of Hitler, Ghengis Khan or Kim Jong-un. But there might still be grounds to regard Crowley as one of the most spiritually evil of persons. Obsessed with apocalyptic themes and imagery from his strange but very wealthy Plymouth Brethren upbringing, Crowley aspired to be the Therion, the Beast, or the Antichrist. He was determined to sin and discover what was the unforgivable sin and commit it.

Crowley might as far as possible be said to have done the latter in especially the course of a blasphemous ritual performed in the desert of North Africa in 1909. There he “sacrificed himself” and invoked the spirit of the depths, Choronzon (traditionally seen as a Devil figure), asking to be possessed by him wholly and by – dangerously in standard magical terms – standing outside the magic circle on the triangle of invocation. The effect of the possession included amid its kaleidoscope of visions experience of thirst and a torment that had Crowley screaming “My God my God why have you forsaken me”. One can of course maintain that Crowley was influenced by biblical sources here, but it is true that a tormented spirit would quite likely be thirst ridden like Dives in Hades in the parable of Luke 16 and realize total separation from God, the ground of Being and the root of the Good. This is what hell is most essentially understood to be and is what Christ is believed to have experienced on the cross.

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Crowley did not, strictly speaking, believe in and acknowledge either God or Satan, so up to a point Peaches was correct to maintain Crowley was not a Satanist. But he scarcely denied it and certainly didn’t mind if people thought he was. He believed in a universal energy and spirits and his “holy guardian angel” that he spared no pains to contact from the outset. Though when he finally appeared this guardian was called Aiwass, he was identified by Crowley as Lucifer in so many words. In effect Aiwass needed to be Lucifer or like him since Crowley was opposed to anything remotely like the God those around him believed in and from which he and they supposedly needed to be delivered. The Book of the Law dictated to Crowley in Egypt by Aiwass in 1904 contains, amid much that seems unintelligible (and which is not even supposed to suffer exposition though inevitably it has done), the dictum most associated with Crowley: “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the Law, love under will”.

The essential meaning is or could be an almost a Jungian one. The person must do what the deep Self demands not what society expects or habit inclines to. And to that extent the saying makes some psychological sense though for Crowley and his followers it seemed to be a pretext for licence in the most damaging of ways. Crowley, himself bisexual and sado-masochistic with it, believed one could and should engage in even the most revolting or violent of experiences and sexual acts, transcending every form of disgust so long as experience was “intense”. Whether Crowley ever did dispose of anyone -it’s a disputed point – he did maintain the highest ritual was the sacrifice of a virgin whose dismembered corpse would be divided up for sacrifice to appropriate gods.

FROM BLACK MAGICIAN TO NEW AGE GURU

If you can manage to separate the man from his profoundly disturbing biography which includes cruel treatment and betrayal of even lovers, helpers and animals, it is possible – just – to arrive at a picture of an individual who amid his unique and highly organized system of magic, authors a sort of philosophy. It’s theory in the style of sometimes Nietzsche, sometimes Jung, a protest against inhibitions with a doctrine of archetypal style forces. It is also almost possible to present Crowley as a kind of New Age guru who generalizes and unifies the religions and mystical systems of the world.

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In the last couple of decades or so, something like this has been taking place. A new Crowley scholarship has arisen which seeks to rehabilitate him as a thinker who, socially, was little more than just an extravagant trickster figure, prankster or actor. Though it’s good and even necessary to have the facts about Crowley, I suggest academe’s makeover is misguided and dangerous. At the same time one recognizes too that it’s almost inevitable due to the all but respectable status Crowley enjoys in influential alternative and rock cultures. A good summary of this is provided in the final chapter of Gary Lachman’s 2014 biography of Crowley. John Lennon, Timothy Leary, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Ozzy Osbourne, Iron Maiden, Jim Morrison, Kenneth Anger, the list is a long one for the influence of Crowley, however diluted and “lite”, from the hard core version of the life and practices.

But because rock culture is so all-pervasive, society and belief have anyway become a bit Crowleyized. Frank Turek, author of Stealing From God,[1] has interestingly and meaningfully suggested that at any rate American atheism has almost more to do with sex than unbelief. The new unnamed religion is one of “erotic revolt” of sex and personal rights and, I would add, one in which the quest for truth is reduced to deciding (if one is at all religious) that all systems of religion, mysticism and magic must amount to the same thing anyway. This adjustment becomes easier to make when religious experience becomes identified and over-identified with the effects of the orgasm anyone can experience.

Crowley forecast that sex would be the downfall of Christianity and it must be admitted against a too easy acceptance of Turek’s position, that this is somewhat true and Christianity does have some responsibility for what has happened in making deity seem unattractively enemy of all eros. It is not simply that the faith has been unnecessarily narrow and oppressive in its approach to some subjects like homosexuality, but it has ignored or suppressed the more esoteric and “tantric” aspects of the Judaeo-Christian heritage present since the Song of Solomon. (Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, has in recent times been exploring this in works like Kosher Lust and The Kosher Sutra. I have myself written Solomon’s Tantric Song [2]. There are things to examine and reclaim).

However, even if there have been sone failures, they don’t need and can hardly afford Crowley’s radical cures. Yet as indicated, a lot of modern western spirituality New Age and other, by osmosis and default is increasingly a diluted version of Crowlianity. His age of Horus, the crowned child –  the puer archetype at its most anarchic one might say and Lachman more or less does say – is where a lot of the West is now arrived at.

Another Crowley dictum is, “Let there be no difference made…..between any one thing and any other thing”. Despite Crowley’s often fascist, aristocratic individualism, this is an idea that belongs to modern sex rights based less on what is appropriate than what makes merely equal; and a consequence of that emphasis is the increased difficulty of, or just refusal to allow for, a hierarchy of values and thus to perceive any real distinction between good and evil, beautiful and ugly, liberating and merely addictive. Queer theory for example ditches the ethical question entirely, any ethics being purely collective and political rather than personal.

In theological terms Crowley is not really about “sin” but more like the “iniquity” associated with idolatry – in Crowley’s case involving a worship of self that never really seeing beyond itself cannot repent of its wrong within the larger framework of existence. Again modern attitudes and slogans (like post Christian feminist Mary Daly’s “Sin Big”) which don’t believe in saying sorry to anyone for anything, belong with a measure of Crowleyanity. (I have written of Mary Daly, another out of control Libran, as something of a milder, female version of Crowlianity) [3]

THE BIRTH PATTERN THAT TELLS TRUE

crowleychart

All this is mainly by way of an introduction to examination of those features of Crowley’s birth chart which I believe show him to be the real thing, the kind of seriously dangerous person and false prophet he was originally and more correctly perceived as being.

In astrology the sixth house of a birth chart represents anything to do with sacrifices and magic rituals. Suitably Crowley’s Mars, ruler of his Aries Midheaven of career and reputation, is in this relevant sixth house. With the Part of Occultism also in this sector, what he called Magick (his term for sexual magic) would be his career; but it would also be a lie. Veritas (Truth) and Devience (Deviance) are conjunct in opposition to Mars.

The fact that Crowley anyway shows an afflicted Jupiter (register of truth) through an opposition to Neptune, itself describes either a liar or at least someone who has difficulty with getting truth and the facts right. An afflicted Neptune is anyway virtually standard for any addictive tendencies, so Crowley (like Peaches Geldof) had it, in his case and because Jupiter is involved the addiction could be extravagant and philosophically justified, while afflicted Neptune’s lack of boundaries invites to and often accompanies bisexuality. It would however especially do so in Libra where boundaries between I and Thou are anyway at their weakest. Crowley’s Jupiter, itself at 7of the sex sign Scorpio, makes close exact easy trine to a 7 Cancer Hekate, the witchcraft and magic asteroid in the hidden unconscious twelfth house, the clearest of indicators for Crowley’s Magick as sex magic.

To all intents and purposes Crowley was a Satanist. Suitably, Lucifer falls in his ninth house of religion and philosophy on the super wretched chaos degree of 29 Pisces on an axis with Samadhi at 29 Virgo (theoretically highest bliss for yoga but deemed a confusion prone asteroid by astrologers). This pair in turn make tension square (90 degree angle) to a conjunction of Rabelais with Lie. It is with Renaissance writer Rabelais’ Temple of Thelema and its “Do what you will” that Crowley’s doctrine has affinity.

But perhaps most significantly, Crowley’s Venus at 24 Libra, the sign ruled by Venus, is in direct square to Theotes (Godhead) at 24 Capricorn. Crowley is of course very against Jesus, this again reflected in the tense square between Isa (Ar Jesus) at 12 Pisces to Malin at 12 Sagittarius, the devil as darkness rather than Luciferian light. This still isn’t all. The truly awful asteroid Vipera at 18 of Sagittarius (the religions and philosophies sign) conjuncts Drago (Dragon with its suggestion of the book of Revelation) conjunct the Part of Faith and Religion in square to asteroid Spirit at 17 Virgo. It’s a combination which might even be involved with the desire to commit the unforgivable sin.

Born under Libra, sign of Laws, it was in Egypt that Crowley received his Book of the Law. Significantly Aigyptos is same degree conjunct Malus (bad) on 1 Capricorn and from there in easy trine to Achristou which seems to function as the Antichrist asteroid. Crowley was himself initially shocked by some of his book’s declarations and for long tried to ignore them.

The book nonetheless proclaimed him prophet of the Age of Horus, the crowned child. Fascinatingly, asteroid Horus at 9 of royal Leo conjuncts Crowley’s rising 8 degrees of Leo and Horus is trined by Childe from 11 Aries in the house of religion.

Conjunctions are very pro or con something and the accuracy of the chart is certified by the way that asteroid Yeates (asteroids follow a sound sense vibe and hence this is Yeats) conjuncts the 16 Aries Midheaven to the degree. The poet Yeats was opposed to Crowley and their notorious argument caused The Society of the Golden Dawn through which Crowley had first learned and risen in magic to be closed down.

Although Libra is the sign of marriages and unions, Crowley’s relating was particularly dreadful. He sought whores of Babylon as partners and they were liable to be used and abused, a situation reflected in Babylon at 25 Aries opposite his natal Venus. His relating otherwise is reflected in a coldly independent Saturn in Aquarius in the seventh of unions where it conjuncts the Part of Treachery, well reflecting the incredible ruthlessness towards partners and supporters.

I mentioned the rite Crowley undertook in North Africa. This occurred December 6th 1909. There is as Lachman says, no causal connection (and not a notable astrological one that I see unless of the transiting sun conjunct Crowley’s Malin) between that and December 6th 1969. The latter date is however when a Hell’s Angel murdered a youth at a concert of the Rolling Stones at Altamont in California. It occurred at a time when the Stones had been familiarizing themselves with magic under Crowley devotee, film director Kenneth Anger. After that they were not so keen and Sympathy for the Devil was less heard and sung.

That event, the death of Peaches and so much more could be taken as a warning not to mess with the occult and not to elevate Crowley into some kind of deeply knowing spiritual guide nor to dismiss him as just an interesting trickster, an English eccentric, in the way that too often happens today. Both approaches are wrong.

1) http://www.christianpost.com/news/americas-fall-away-from-god-more-about-sex-than-unbelief-christian-author-frank-turek-says-170860/

2) Solomon’s Tantric Song, goo.gl/sU21My

3) See. Temple Mysteries and Spiritual Efficiency, Chapter 8. Mary Daly’s Occult Voyage goo.gl/Xi1jv8

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2016 in Mysteries, religion

 

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IS THE PATRICK PROPHECY FOR IRELAND ENCODED?

irish-flood

THE ONGOING MYSTERY OF AN ANCIENT FORECAST

A net article recently caused me to recall something long forgotten, namely that St Patrick and also St Columba are supposed to have forecast the flooding of Ireland before “the last day”. To the extent that geographically Ireland is something of a bowl with its interior bog lands near or below sea level I suppose a great ocean flood was never impossible. (The above picture derives from records of the rather ghastly floods of 2015) . But a wipe out? Does this mark just fantasy or spurious prophecy?

For little more than idle amusement I switched on the 1949 foundation chart for modern Ireland to see if there was anything remotely suggestive of such a fate. I was surprised by what I found using especially the new evidence of  name, place and concept asteroids which are found to be unusually descriptive and effective. Might the ancient prophecy be encoded there? In this instance you don’t even need to be an astrologer to appreciate what I saw and form your opinion.

A nation’s destiny and reputation is linked to its tenth house. In Ireland’s tenth sector sits Neptune, planetary symbol of any floods. This Neptune is then conjuncted by the asteroid Fini (French for finite and finished) and Fini is meaningful. It was for example definitely involved in the sudden unexpected retirement of Pope Benedict.

I then observe Neptune and Fini exist in tense axis opposition to the asteroid Flood. This in turn is in exact degree aspect to Oceana (ocean flood?). Perhaps more significantly Flood is closely conjunct asteroid Atropos. Though astrologers don’t often speak of it, it’s generally accepted nowadays that Atropos is much involved in highly fated events and death patterns. And then the Flood/Atropos combo is in exact so-called stress square to the drowning asteroid, Ophelia, itself in a water sign (Cancer) in Eire’s death house.

The fourth sector in which Flood/Atropos are placed represents the nation’s land and territory. Also its weather conditions and any places of ending like graves. The cusp of this house is exactly conjuncted by Patrice. There is no Patrick or St Patrick asteroid but Patrice is French for Patrick. So might this encode Patrick speaking for the nation’s endings?

WHAT WAS THE SAINT THINKING AND WHAT SHOULD  WE?

If Patrick ever made the forecast attributed to him, we may well ask what he meant about an event seven years before “the last day” and with a disaster deemed a favour. It looks like his scribes or those who remembered him had insufficient knowledge of “the last things”.

It looks as though Patrick believed Ireland would disappear before the so-called Tribulation or Revelation’s seven year rule of the Antichrist which itself is not, strictly speaking, followed by “the end of the world”. It would simply be the end of the era. Christ’s advent destroys the rule of the Antichrist and inaugurates a millennial rule through Israel. It signals neither the end of the world nor the Last Judgement, only the end of the world as people at the time would know it and a judgement of nations only – if such occurred within our times plainly it would correspond astrologically to the end of the age of Pisces which Christ’s birth introduced.

St Patrick evidently thought if Ireland drowned (and tsunamis would involve almost instant death as flood walls hit) that this was a deliverance of sorts from the pains of the Tribulation period with its temptations to take the damning “Mark of the Beast”. The fact that the mentioned Patrice makes exact tension square to Achristou, an asteroid I’ve long found associated with Satanism and Antichrist themes, could just encode such a train of thought.

NOT TO FORECAST BUT…

No astrologer in their right mind would or should forecast such extreme events as the Patrick prophecy envisages. The most they might affirm is that various time periods exist that held potential for heightened danger.

However….for those who crave a frisson and would wish to relate the whole idea to our times, one could state this much. The late Catholic Seeress, Jeane Dixon, celebrated especially for forecasting JFK’s death, claimed to have had vision of the birth of the Antichrist – she even maintained the entire purpose of her life and gifts was to receive especially that vision. Undeniably the birth pattern for the time was both unusual and suggestive.

If Dixon wasn’t deluded and the person of her visions happens to exist, then I would  be confident he must greatly advance and almost certainly appear before the world in late 2017 or early 2018. If not then, never, since there would be lesser opportunity before he was too old to make sufficient, persuasive impact. But the same kind of eclipses and transits that favour Dixon’s false prophet  – one of them hits on Ireland’s Saturn – bespeak some difficulty for Ireland. Difficulty and stress, certainly, but that’s not the same as saying certain wipe out!

I am thus not prepared to forecast that 2017/2018 marks Ireland’s final rendez-vous with destiny, but having said that I retain the suspicion that the Patrick forecast could actually be encoded for Ireland and manifest some day.

[ This article was proposed to a couple of leading Irish papers earlier this year when I was visiting Ireland. Both refused. I believe this belongs to the rabid, dismissive secularism of the new Irish elite which has no time for even just mysteries ; also a kind of parochialism which no longer considers the Irish diaspora has any use or meaning and can be safely ignored ]

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2016 in Mysteries

 

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WHY PETRARCH’S “TO ITALY” REMAINS SIGNIFICANT

PETRARCH2

WHY PETRARCH’S “TO ITALY” REMAINS SIGNIFICANT

Since I am neither Italian nor a scholar of Latin beyond what I learned at school, I sometimes ask myself why I should feel moved by and dealing with something close to the heart of poetic inspiration in the case of Petrarch’s Ad Italiam, (To Italy, but sometimes called Petrarch’s Hymn to Italy). More recently too I find a new and relevant symbolic significance attaches to the work..

The mood of the poem is plainly enthusiastic and ecstatic but the total impression is of feeling somehow more engraved, fixed and  “absolute”  in a way I should wish to class with the very different because elegiac  Catullus C1, the celebrated “hail and farewell” poem for the poet’s brother deceased in a far land. It is always possible that Catullus at least indirectly influenced Petrarch, a proto-Renaissance classical scholar who had unique possession of the newly rediscovered work of the Roman poet, but undoubtedly Latin bible Psalms played their part  – there is an affinity for the spirit of those Psalms which celebrate Jerusalem and Israel as sacred site and Promised Land.

Ad Italiam  which begins  Salve, cara Deo tellus sanctissima, salve is of course more impressive in the Latin in which so much of Petrarch’s poetry was composed (though his famous Canzoniere with its Sonnets to Laura) were in his and Dante’s native Tuscan. One translation I take from the net runs as follows:

Hail, land most holy dear to God, hail!
A land of safety to the good, a land to be feared by the proud,
Land much nobler than other famous shores,
More fertile than the rest, more beautiful than any other country,
Bound by twin seas, shining with famous mountains,
Revered for arms and holy laws,
Home of the Pierian Muses, rich in gold and men.
Art and nature together courted your exceptional favors
And gave a teacher to the world.
Now after a long time I return to you eagerly,
A permanent resident. You will give a welcome resting place
To my tired life, and in the end you will supply enough
Earth to cover my pale bones. How happy I am to see you,
Italy, from the high mountain of leafy Montgenèvre.
The clouds stay behind my back. A clear breeze
Strikes my face, and the air rises to meet me with gentle
Motions. I recognize my homeland and rejoicing I greet it.
Hail, beautiful mother, glory of the earth, hail.

THE POET’S SELF AND HIS ITALIA

What might be so specially poetic and/or moving about this? Granted the lyric might strike us a little more forcibly if we read it with some poetic biography in mind – I first came across the poem in youth in a book about the Renaissance to which Petrarch was in many respects a founding father. He was so through his revival of the classics and his novel conviction that ancient and modern could be somehow blended because a real continuity should be seen to exist. I read how the poet was leaving France for the second and last time, the land where, due to his father’s business, he had spent a good part of his own youth and early adulthood enjoying success (and serenading Laura) but feeling increasingly dissatisfied and alienated in the corrupt atmosphere of Avignon and its papal court.

So this is a poem of homecoming, of liberation and hopefully of finding oneself at last. At that level almost anyone could appreciate the poem’s feelings even without the precise biographical background against which I first encountered these lines.

In this instance however the easily appreciated emotion is raised to another plane by the fact that something of the prophetic and archetypical functions of poet and poetry are super-added to what is being declared. Quite simply, no such place as Italia/Italy even existed at the time Petrarch was writing, nor would it for centuries.

Italia is a name drawn from Roman politics and geography. Typically, and like Dante so patriotically attached to his Florence, Italians scarcely felt they belonged to any larger national entity and certainly no single language unified them. Petrarch thus simply names and claims Italy, spreading across the geographical region something by way of  old-new Platonic generalization in preference to the Dantesque Aristotelian and medieval detail. It’s a work of poetic making and claiming of which there are few examples – the more archaic, briefer song of the druid Amergin setting foot upon Ireland would be one.

This address to an imagined, effectively archetypal Italia is made from the mountain heights of Montgenèvre and rather like Moses viewing the Promised Land from Mount Nebo before he dies. (Possibly remembering that example, the poet refers to where his own final resting place will be….although at the time he was only forty nine and would spend the last twenty one years of his life in Italy). Petrarch was modern or at least pre-romantic in re-discovering the beauty and power of mountains. From curiosity and for pleasure – and madly it seemed to people of his time – he had actually climbed Mt Ventoux in Provence. Here he is traversing the lower Alps above the Val Susa and the Turin region to arrive in his “Italy”.

With this generalization about the land below him there is a sudden expansion of feeling, a deeper breathing. The wind that strikes the poet’s face while the clouds are behind him is almost more inspiration itself, a liberation of spirit, than any natural phenomenon even if a breeze was blowing on the heights. Behind him lies France and in effect the sort of things that France at the time (and to this day somewhat) represents in terms of scholasticism, a kind of analytical pigeonholing and rationalization of everything that at worst risks preventing the individual from reaching transcendent states of mind and being. For these the poet himself has obvious affinity and he has been able to justify them from especially elements of classical culture. He is thus released to the lyrical, more musical, even operatic impulses that belong with “Italy”.

THE ITALY OF WESTERN ORIGINS

It is his Platonic generalization which allows the poet statements about Italy which perceive everywhere the sanctity and beauty of the land and culture. Practically, from its medieval banditry to its modern mafia, from its corrupt medieval popes to modern politicians, not to talk of things like ugly modern traffic chaos, Italy carries many blemishes like many another country. But in the more prophetic and archetypal view it is still inspired, spiritual and beautiful, “more beautiful than any other country….” And the fact remains that, quite objectively, Italy is particularly and hauntingly beautiful among nations whether in terms of nature or culture. Even a French painter, Claude Lorraine, would render it a symbol of Arcadia and Promised Land, the Golden Age, the Millennium. Germans would make a cult of the place (Goethe’s Kennst du das Land wo die Zitronen bluhn? bespeaks an attachment to Italy as somewhere that offers a beauty that however tangible and immediate also somehow exists as a special longing beyond the immediate). Well before any modern tourist invasions Italy would become homeland and heartland to many, especially artists. Poets and artists of the Romanatic era descended upon it with Keats and Shelly managing to die there, Shelley having declared in Julian and Maddalo,

How beautiful is sunset, when the glow
Of heaven descends upon a land like thee
Thou paradise of exiles, Italy.

Beauty of all kinds can corrupt as much as improve, but Italy goes about as far as it is possible to go in redemption of many things through beauty. At any rate many will excuse it much on that account. People may however also identify with and overlook much where Italy is concerned because of a fundamental recognition that in many respects, it is also “us”. It is Europe, the root of many things – the West itself.

It’s Rome that marks a beginning for Europe in a way that Greece never quite does. We are indebted to Greece for many things that make the West the West, but there is also a discontinuity with its legacy. Italy via both its medieval and Renaissance worlds supplies the world a continuous development, a variation upon a theme that we recognize. Rome never quite died whereas Athens did. I feel therefore that when Petrarch prophetically celebrates Italy he celebrates Europe itself by default even while, like Moses rejecting Egypt, he implicitly rejects France for a more lyrical, all-embracing, quasi-operatic worldview. But then the Italian opera that Greece, despite its drama didn’t invent and which didn’t exist in Petrarch’s time, can itself be considered one of the symbols of the West. It, and its lyrical impulse is the sort of thing that allows Petrarch to steal from Greece its claim to be home of the Pierian muses. As said, the poet’s “Italy” is, beyond the actual place, a heart zone and archetypal and he knows what keys to hit….

ARCHETYPE AND HOROSCOPE

One can tell this from the all-revealing horoscope for modern Italy (10th June 1946, 6 pm Rome) which with remarkable accuracy registers the force field of cultural identity across time as when we find asteroid Dante together with his prime inspiration Virgil, a doyen of the mythos of Rome and all Italians. They are conjunct on 25 degrees of Gemini, the sign of languages and writing, the sign of Europe, of democracy and of Christianity (born under Gemini with the speaking of tongues) and the sign of modern Italy which has, so far, perhaps most realized Gemini as the division of twins, the mental and other divisions of North and South regions. And since on the physical plane Gemini rules the hands, Italy under Gemini suits the nation that half speaks through hand and gesture.

Petrarch (Petrarca)  is found in the nation’s creative fifth house in initiating Aries. He stands in fortunate trine to a Mars in Leo, Petrarch’s own sign – he was born 28th July Greg 1304 – in the nation’s ninth house of ideas, philosophy and religion. (I can’t report that Petrarca aspects Laura in Italy’s chart but curiously his natal Mars in Cancer does fall exactly on Laura in the national chart).

While Italy’s 1946 pattern naturally represents the modern nation, it echoes its past too as national charts will, even spectacularly so (like Solomon conjunct the Part of Wisdom in the chart of modern Israel). There is little question that Petrarch by helping to birth the Renaissance in a way that Dante and Virgil didn’t, is a major creative influence upon Italy for all time. (Dante and Virgil, famed for visionary journeys to Hades and the Inferno are suitably found together on the same degree in the nation’s eighth house, traditionally the hell house and the house of secrets.

Altogether, Petrarch’s legacy in aspect to Italy’s beliefs house Mars relates to and stimulates what is deemed most typically, perennially Italian in what (despite the Gemini sun) will be the modern nation. This is the tendency to a certain dramatic, leonine extravagance in everything from architecture to entertainment. The popular reputation is for this even when not it is not universally the case; but since Leo is the sign not just of the national Mars but of the Midheaven, a point which describes the destiny and reputation along with leadership profile, the nation will always produce some singularly flamboyant leaders from Mussolini to Berlusconi whether they were Leos or not (Mussolini was!).

When he defines his at once real and dreamed “Italy”, Petrarch defines it not just by the mountains that we know he would automatically favour, but describes it as “bound by twin seas” almost as though it were an island. As if to confirm this emphasis in the real and ideal (or dreamed) image, we find asteroid Italia in the fourth house of land and origins in Pisces, sign of seas but also of dreams and myths. Italy may be sea-girt, but as one cannot emphasize enough, beyond any place it is also a state of mind, a mythos.

Roma is likewise in the same land and origins house and sign though not conjunct Italia – something, but happily by no means everything, is indebted to the Rome of Virgil. Vaticana isn’t in the house and shouldn’t be since modern Italy is separate from Vatican city. (Vaticana like Dante falls in the eighth sector of secrets (which is how many Italians see it, but placed in Cancer at 19 degrees in exact semi-sextile aspect to the 19 degree Gemini sun. This is a relation which betrays how Italians can have both real attachment to yet divided thoughts about the Vatican they won’t fully trust).

AN ABSOLUTE POETRY

Through a brief astrological excursus I’ve aimed to show how a gifted poet will be in touch with the kind of archetypal and symbolic forces that seem to distinguish the more memorable expressions of poetry. Recently Australia’s multi-tasking intellectual Clive James, who is recommending a poetry that avoids some of the excesses of an increasingly tired and non communicating modernism in the arts, has emphasized the old belief that one does not choose poetry (the art that so many try their hand at) but rather is chosen by poetry. To the extent I would agree, I should want to add that sometimes it is as though history itself chooses the poet.

A supreme example in my opinion is the Catullus that Petrarch rediscovered. History has not just been kind to the Roman poet whose work was thought lost for centuries. His times and setting provide him a quite special voice, even an authority that manages to cancel out all failures and lapses of taste in minor pieces. This is a poet who can refer casually to Caesar and Cicero as acquaintances and magisterially to the range of the rapidly growing (late Republican) territories. He carries Italia from its back streets to its urban grandeur and natural wonders on his shoulders, but lightly so as to make any contrasting elegy and sense of loss all the more hauntingly memorable.

At times it can be hard to be quite sure where powers of art or notable social privilege make for the effects, (nearest in literature perhaps to the world-owning internationalism of Shakespeare’s Anthony and Cleopatra), but there is a sense of capturing something essential and foundational for all time that lends Catullan poetic utterance a stamp of authority that even very good poetry doesn’t necessarily have. Here the poet sings and sees because the times, history itself, make for it, and the effects be so vivid it becomes poignant – one may finish half surprised the poet is even long dead.

Himself inhabiting a turning point of history he helped to make, Petrarch in his prophetic idealizing sets the bar high for Italy, but arguably the poem become a vantage point for any thinking about who and what the nation was, is and can be and, as I have suggested, even in some respects the West that Italy originates and symbolizes.

Looking back at the past and contemplating the near future in which ISIS has promised to attack Italy and Rome and now that already the country is being overwhelmed amid its lifesaving generosity towards impossible numbers of fleeing refugees, a new and different poignancy surrounds any absolutes of vision. Astrologers could well wonder concerning the eclipse that hits Italy’s destiny and leadership Midheaven in 2017, They could also question the presence of the only two Islam-associated asteroids Ahmed, (a name for Mohammed), and Abdulla (the name of Mohammed’s father), in Italy’s ninth house of beliefs and the overseas. The conjunction of Abdulla to the national Saturn in the beliefs house, the proximity of Ahmed to that house’s Pluto (death and transformation) and the proximity of Ahmed to Sicilia, a once Muslim region and one of the regions through which Italy is most likely to suffer invasion, together likely say something. Especially as we then even find Isis in the ninth house in the same kind of aspect to Italy’s destiny Midheaven as Vaticana is to Italy’s identity and leadership giving sun. Will the flag of Islam at one point fly over the Vatican as promised by ISIS?

Petrarch of course envisages an eternal and very Christian Italy. Christian is undoubtedly prominent in the chart on an angle (the descendant) for Italy, but it’s in an odd position which could suggest that a truly Christian identity may be left to struggle against internal and external enemies, everything from mafias internally to IS fighters externally[1].

I do think that seven centuries on from Petrarch and two thousand years and the whole age of Pisces from Virgil, the fate and identity of Italy is once again in dispute and endangered, perhaps more than it quite realizes. But if poetry is sometimes prophecy, I don’t feel I have entirely presumed to conclude Part 4 of my Coming to Syracuse, (which offers a deliberate update and partial critique of Virgil’s overtly prophetic Eclogue 4), with the assurance after many trials of ultimately surviving:  ( Part One https://goo.gl/97NgiO Part  Four  https://goo.gl/KQZ6kp – there are six parts recorded by actress in Canada).

…And then the fortunate of the coming age
Beneath the shade of beech and elm
Again in midday idleness they’ll sing
And speak of love that’s everywhere and everything
And under clusters of the vine, breathe in
Deep peace and view all Being as benign.

[1] The seventh house is paradoxically the closest partner and ally and/or open enemy of the person or nation (hidden enemies are more involved with the twelfth sector). Christian is directly opposite Italy’s Scorpio ascendant above which in the hidden twelfth is the nation’s moon while below the ascendant in the first house is Palermo in Scorpio. Palermo being the traditional home of mafia with Scorpio its supposed sign and Palermo squaring (i.e.afflicting) the rulership Midheaven, we know immediately there is something hidden about Italy, something not easily seen or known amid the extraversion and which could affect even the government. This will likely be a variety of secret societies and forces. Whatever or whoever precisely they are, Christians are or should usually be their natural enemy, hence, I think, the position of Christian in this chart suggestive of strivings without and within..

 

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2015 in Poetry

 

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