Yin Yang XIV

Chart for Kurt Cobain, born February 20, 1967, Aberdeen, Washington, data from birth record   

He could be at war with the village that raised him and his homeland,

or perfect a skill to enamour his homeland,

and he did both.

There is an inclination toward the spiritual in Scorpio, the mysteries, and there are belief systems in Sag, and spirituality and belief systems played an important part in his upbringing.

He formed his own belief system about music, being true to the sound of the instruments, not cleaning it up for the radio.

Capricorn is in his fifth house and he was a rock environmentalist.

There is Pan in Capricorn, god of shepherds and the wild, companion of nymphs,

and there is Pan in Pisces, who gave a cry of panic when Typhon went after purity and innocence.

He chose Nirvana to be the name of his band, place of refuge.

He made a friend in high school with whom he could discuss topics that broke the boundaries of where he was raised, a friend from Croatia.


Chart for Krist Novoselic, born May 16, 1965, Compton, California, time unknown

The two would form the band Nirvana.

Krist was the bassist and Kurt the guitarist and lead singer.

There is pressure in living and pressure on the body in Kurt’s chart. Pluto Uranus ask that he break something down and create something anew in Virgo, and it involves his body,

and Krist brought Mars into his first house, increasing the pressure, adding discipline and drive.


Synastry chart for Kurt and Krist, with Kurt’s chart in the inner wheel

They practised and went on the road, and played in small venues,

derivatives of rock,

punk rock, grunge rock.

Music came first, expressing emotions through music, lyrics came second. With Mercury in Pisces, Kurt brought in words to accompany the music, words he’d written, heard, words that came into his head, anonymous.

They came to be known in the places Virgo rules, the fringes.

They found some success,

but the drummer was wrong, drummer one, two, three,

and in 1990, they recruited David Grohl.


Chart for David Grohl, born January 14, 1969, Warren, Ohio, data from birth record

David brought social consciousness, an awareness of others. His progressed Sun was at 15 degrees Aquarius, conjunct his natal Mercury, and he introduced social issues into their conversations.

What Kurt may have felt was his personal experience, his own disillusionment with the times, became the experience of others growing up in America.


Synastry chart for Kurt and David, with Kurt’s chart in the inner wheel

If Kurt was going to de marginalize grunge rock,

David’s Uranus Jupiter in Libra in a trine to Krist’s Venus Jupiter in Gemini

asked that it be turned into an art form with wide appeal.



The band counted on his personality,

his lyrics, his voice, and his performance, typhonic performance, becoming undone, smashing guitars, destroying equipment, purposefully not minding the gap in Pisces,

a gap away from Charon, the ferryman.


Lithium was released in 1991, with his natal Sun at 1 degree Pisces and his progressed Sun at 24 degrees Pisces, conjunct Chiron.

Medicine man, offering his Piscean medicine.

Saturn in Pisces is in a trine to Neptune in Scorpio, and he offered a release from the expectations of his clan, dissolution.

He said things like,

he felt closer to the feminine side of the human being, more than he did to the male side or America’s idea of what a male should be.


He said that he married his wife because he was compatible with her, and it didn’t matter if she was male or female, hermaphrodite or a donkey.

In Pisces, what he felt and what he smelled mattered more.


He was participating in what the Pluto Uranus in Virgo and Saturn in Pisces generation came to do, changing the culture, changing the order of things,

and he did it with the raw material at his disposal, creatively.

Music had been his place of refuge, place of rebellion, but with fame, it became work.

People wanted more. They asked him what his lyrics meant. They wanted more and they asked for meaning, for rationality, when he was in touch with the irrational.

There was not enough space in between, not enough time to let the words come in, and he did what other shamans do to reach the other side.

There was pain too. He said his singing, his screaming, his feelings, came from his upper abdomen, and that’s where the pain was centred.

In 1993, with his progressed Sun at 26 degrees Pisces, conjunct Venus, he invited Pat Smear to join the band, as a backup guitarist, to take some of the pressure off him.


Chart for Pat Smear, born August 5, 1959, West Los Angeles, time unknown

With Pat’s planets in Leo came the possibility of a new image for the band, and of slowing down and taking the time to heal.

But Kurt took his life the following year, with his progressed Sun at 27 degrees Pisces, touching Saturn.



Enki wrote the rules for making beer

for the people he fashioned out of clay.

He and the goddess Ninmah got drunk one day and played a game of opposites. Enki made a man, and Ninmah made his opposite. Enki made Gilgamesh of the purest clay, god like, king, and put him to rule the city. Ninmah made Enkidu of the coarsest clay, beast like, wild man, and put him in the forest.

Enkidu became protector of the forest, cutting nets, smashing traps, filling up the pits left by hunters, and hunters had nothing to eat, and they went to the city to seek the advice of the king.

Take the prettiest dancing girl from the city, and let her tame him with a kiss, said the king, and that is what the hunters did.

They sat in a clearing and waited.

Enkidu could smell them and stayed away. He could smell the sweet notes of the dancing girl’s perfume and came close. The dancing girl motioned him to come closer, sit beside her, and when he finally did, she kissed him. He liked the feel of her kiss, and stayed for another, and another.

The hunters lit a fire and gave him food and taught him words.

Suddenly Enkidu missed the forest and left, but the forest wouldn’t have him back. He didn’t smell right. So Enkidu returned to the campfire and ate more food and learned more words.

When the dancing girl said it was time to go back to the city, she invited Enkidu to come, and he followed. People in the city were impressed to see such a man, as big and strong as their king, but coarse and unrefined.

When the king and the wild man met on the street, there was recognition, the kind of recognition that can lead to competition, and they lunged at each other, and wrestled and fought, bringing everything around them crashing down.


Chart for Roger Ebert, born June 18, 1942, Urbana, Illinois, data from birth record

He was an eighth house man. He was many things, but Venus, ruler of the Ascendant, puts him in Taurus, in the eighth.

She takes time to mature.

In the early days, she gave him a taste for hookers.

His friends used to wonder about his taste in women. Where did he find them?

They’re hired ladies, he said.

In 1969, with his natal Sun in Gemini, experimental Sun, and his progressed Sun at 21 degrees Cancer, maternal Sun, he teamed up with Russ Meyer and wrote the screenplay for


Why would he do that, asked a colleague.

Boobs, replied another.


He was a lover of literature, a man of letters. He perfected his arrangement of words and made them accessible to the general public.


There is learning in his chart and he took it to the movies. Over time, he developed a philosophy of movie criticism. Behind it was the awareness that movies were the most influential mass art of the twentieth century.

He would study a movie in the context of its genre, the age group that it catered to, and audience expectation.

At first, when he hated a movie, he hated it. But when he began to understand the power of his words, he would watch a movie twice if at first he hated it, to see if he’d missed parts that were worth mentioning.

In 1975, with his progressed Sun at 27 degrees Cancer, he won the Pulitzer Price for Criticism.

It was also in 1975 when they asked him to do a show with the movie critic across the street.



Chart for Gene Siskel, born January 26, 1946, Chicago, Illinois, data from birth record

He too was an eighth house man. The rulers of Pisces in the first house are in Libra in the eighth.

In the early days, he was acquainted with Hugh Hefner, and spent time at the Playboy Mansion and traveled with the Playboy clan.

Other people’s resources are in the eighth, and both him and Roger had a say about other people’s resources, their art. Over time they brought an awareness of the psychological impact they could have into their practice.


They transformed movie criticism in America, made it a player in the movie industry.

Gene’s natal Sun is in Aquarius, conjunct Venus, in the twelfth. A Sun with a bird’s eye. Roger said that for Gene to give a thumbs up, he had to like the whole movie, and not just parts of it.

There is philanthropy in the twelfth, and Gene used his platform to support and raise funds for the Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, now named after him.

He graduated with a philosophy degree, and got a job at the Chicago Tribune in 1969.

The Chicago Tribune was across the street from the Chicago Sun-Times where Roger worked.

In 1975, with his progressed Sun at 4 degrees Pisces, they asked him to do a show with Roger.


People watched aghast as the two men, equally powerful, grappled each other, upturning street carts, barging through walls, scattering chickens, wild turkeys and goats, with neither getting the upper hand.

They prayed to the gods, to Anu and Enlil, Enki and Erra-

Not Erra!

What about Inanna?

They prayed to Inanna to make them stop, and watched the men fall on their backs, unable to continue, and eying each other from the corner of their eyes.

They had found their match.


Something stirs when the Ascendant of one touches the planet of another, and something stirred in Gilgamesh and Enkidu.

They were too tired to fight, yet did not want to part, and Gilgamesh invited Enkidu to the palace.

There is hospitality in Jupiter, and Jupiter in Libra learns the art of hospitality, when to talk, when to let the other talk, and a friendship grew between them.

Gilgamesh spoke to Enkidu of his wish. He wanted to leave his mark on this earth, carry out a feat of courage, vanquish the unvanquishable.

I will help you, said Enkidu, and they went to see the diviner.

The diviner sacrificed a sheep. She studied the shape and colour of its intestines, and said, The coils of the colon resemble the demon Huwawa, guardian of Lebanon, land of the Cedar Forest.

Enkidu shook his head and said, That demon will suck our strength before we reach the forest. We will need protection.

The diviner offered him crystals for protection, but he shook his head again. They needed the protection of the lifegiver, the Sun god Shamash.



Dreams came to guide them. A dream told of the weapons they would need, and they went to the forges to order their weapons, axes and swords.

Another dream told of digging a well wherever they stopped, to keep their water skins filled.

When they confronted the terrifying Huwawa, magnificent Huwawa, they were the size of ants. They held their water skins to the sky and made an offering of water to the Sun god,

and help came.

The Sun god sent the seven winds of heaven to cyclone around the demon, binding him and making it possible for Gilgamesh and Enkidu to vanquish it.

When the winds died down, they heard the song of birds, and they raised their eyes and saw the cedar tree they would carry back to the city.

What will you do with the wood, Enkidu asked his friend.

I will have cedar boxes made, with bronze clasps, replied Gilgamesh. Each one will hold a lapis lazuli tablet, and each tablet will be engraved with a story. The first one will tell the story of how you and I defeated Huwawa. One day I will build a new city wall, and I will bury the boxes in the foundation, for posterity.

He finished saying this, and they came to the old city wall, and standing on the wall was the goddess Inanna, Ishtar Inanna, goddess of love.

In 1980 Gene fell in love and married, and two daughters and a son would follow.


Chart for April 28, 1980

In 1980, his progressed Sun was at 9 degrees Pisces, and Saturn and Jupiter were transiting Virgo in his seventh house. There is something here about time and the order of things, and having the courage to take the next step. And also the awareness of being a participant in the culture

Uranus was transiting Scorpio in his house of wisdom, awakening him to the responsibility of clan.

Pluto was transiting Libra, conjunct his natal Jupiter,

and there can be influence in this conjunction,

a conjunction that lit up the t-square in his chart with Cancer and Capricorn.

He became sensitive to the portrayal of women, relationships and family in movies,

and he used his influence to warn moviegoers, especially the younger generations, and to discipline the movie industry.


In 1980, Roger’s progressed Sun was at 2 degrees Leo, conjunct Mars Pluto and his Midheaven in Leo, and he became one of the top reviewers in his country. Moviegoers trusted what he had to say. They counted on his top 10 lists.


He could spot a hidden gem, single it out, and bring it out of the margins.

He looked for movies that said what had not been said before, then looked for the right words to describe them to his readers.

When will you get married, Gene asked him one day, and he said he hadn’t found her yet.

Aquarius is in his fifth house, and the rulers are in Gemini in the ninth, with Mercury and the Sun, and Uranus holds the lowest degree. She had to be someone who broke the mold in some way, someone he could relate with intellectually.

He met her in 1992, at the age of 50, with his progressed Sun conjunct Chiron in Leo, healing him. She was a businesswoman and an attorney, with children from a previous marriage, and black, everything his mother would have considered taboo.

He was an only child, and he once said that he would never have married while his mother was alive, afraid that she would disapprove of his choice.


Gilgamesh too married late.

In an early version of the Epic of Gilgamesh, he consulted his mother when Inanna, standing on the city wall, asked him to be her lover.

He had already considered marrying her, in a ceremony with the high priestess of her temple, to dedicate his life to her in ritual.

Becoming her lover would divert him from his path of ritual duties.

His mother advised him to decline the honour, as tempting as it may be, and to offer gifts in place of himself.

In the later versions, in Tablet IV, he insults Inanna of the city wall. He calls her an oven that melts ice, a shoe that bites the feet of its owner. He lists her previous lovers and what became of them,

and the lovers he lists are the men who suffered her magic in Scorpio, the magic of Artemis, like Actaeon turned into a wolf for spying on her.

There is an underworld in Scorpio, the underworld of Ereshkigal, and Inanna would descend into the underworld, but before that, she raged at Gilgamesh’s insults, and asked her father Anu to release the Bull of Heaven.


She raged even more when the Bull was slain, and Enkidu cut off one of the bull’s haunches and hurled it at her to make her stop.

Such an act could not go unpunished, and the gods decided that one of the two must die, and in a dream, Enkidu said that he would die.

When he woke up from the dream, he fell ill.

In 1998, Gene fell ill.

It was the year Roger told Gene that he loved him. Something told him to say it now, before it was too late.


Gene kept the severity of his illness private. Venus in his chart guards his privacy.

Roger did the opposite when he fell ill, with the help of his wife, Chaz.

Aries is in his house of marriage, and she is fierce.

She says that she had to fight with him to stay alive, to carry on with his work and his public life. He felt self conscious about his appearance, and she helped him overcome it.

He fell ill when his progressed Sun was in the last degrees of Leo, and he gave this talk with his progressed Sun at 2 degrees Virgo, two years before he died.

With Venus, the ruler of his chart, in Taurus, his natal Sun in Gemini, and his progressed Sun in Virgo, he talks of his illness and surgeries, miraculous rescue, communication and technology, and marginality.


He says it is human nature to look away from illness. We don’t enjoy a reminder of our own mortality.

When Enkidu died, Gilgamesh was reminded of his own mortality. He was overcome with grief and with the fear of dying. So great was his fear, that he set out to learn the secret of immortality from Atrahasis Utnapishtim.

He traveled to the ends of the world to find him.

Utnapishtim told him the story of the great flood, how Enlil had been so pleased to see survivors that he granted him and his wife Saba immortality. He added that the gods would not grant Gilgamesh immortality.

Go back to the city, he said, and remember your friend. Go back and write of the adventures you shared.

Gilgamesh suffered, and Saba intervened. She said there was a plant that could not give immortality, but could bring back youth. Old-man-young was the name of the plant.

Hope returned to Gilgamesh’s eyes, and he dove to the depths of the ocean to find it.

Holding the plant, he made his way home. He could not wait to see the city and his people again. He would share the plant with the old before having some himself.

Before entering the city, he went to bathe in the river, and rested the plant on a rock. As he swam in the river, he thought of marriage and having a child, a child to carry his name.

Feeling refreshed, he walked back to the rock where old-man-young lay, and saw a snake eat it. The snake shed its old skin and slithered into the water wearing a brightly coloured new one.


Possible representation of Gilgamesh, grasping a lion with his left arm and a snake in his right hand. Assyrian palace relief, 713-706 BC

Chart for Sigmund Freud, born May 6 1856, Freiberg, data from birth record

He trained as a medical doctor, a neurologist, and participated in the debate about the structure of the nervous system.

At the time, microscopes were not powerful enough to see the miniscule gap between nerve cells, a visual that would give rise to the idea of synapses connecting nerves cells. Yet some believed that this was in fact what the nervous system was made of, individual cells, like other parts of the human anatomy. They were the neuronists.

Others believed it to be what was visible through the microscope, a continuous network of tissue. They were the reticularists.

Freud contributed drawings showing nerve cells in the lamprey spinal cord to the debate, siding with the neuronists.

He was trained to make closely observed drawings,

and he was learning to envision what couldn’t be seen, awakening Venus in Aries.

There are images in fire.


Freud’s drawing showing nerve cells in the lamprey spinal cord, 1877

His natal Sun is in Taurus, a practical Sun, and he could have continued in this vein, studying other organisms to contribute to the understanding of the human body,

but Pluto and Uranus are in Taurus, and they asked him to break something down and create it anew,

and Mercury can travel to the heavens, the earth, the underworld,

and there is a labyrinth in Taurus, beneath the palace at Knossos.

He developed an interest in neurological disorders, disorders of the mind, madness and hysteria. To navigate the field, he went looking for clues, with his natal Sun in Taurus and his progressed Sun in Gemini, conjoining his natal Moon,

ruler of Cancer, where the Lernaean Hydra protects the entrance to the underworld.

In 1885, Jean-Martin Charcot gave him a clue, hypnosis. A year later, Josef Breuer gave him another clue, the talking treatment.

They were clues that were drawing him away from neuroanatomy, and drawing him toward psychology and what he would call psychoanalysis.


A clue by Katia Roka, 1988

In late 1890, transiting Uranus, spirit of the times, made his entry into Scorpio,

and transiting Pluto and Neptune were in Gemini.

Freud took Breuer’s talking cure and added what he felt was missing, listening, listening to patients, listening for clues that would allow entry into their underworld,

unconscious mind, place of repressed memories.

He made mistakes and admitted to his mistakes. He first said that all hysteria stemmed from sexual abuse in childhood. He had a tendency to generalize, to make generalizations based on a  small pool of patients, and sometimes only one.

Jupiter in Pisces can aggrandize the small, exaggerate, but he also gives great imagination, and with Venus in Aries, there is visual imagination, seeing with the mind’s eye what has no corresponding visual stimuli.


With Uranus transiting Scorpio, across from his natal stellium in Taurus, his attentions was drawn to sexuality and early childhood development.

He remembered the story of Oedipus who killed his father without knowing that he was his father, and married his mother without knowing that she was his mother.

He relied on this old story to touch on a subject that was taboo.

He spoke of a child’s rivalry with the parent of the same sex, a rivalry that grew out of desire for the parent of the opposite sex,

without knowing,




With his progressed Sun conjoining Saturn in Gemini, touching Venus in Aries and Jupiter in Pisces,

he introduced the Oedipus Complex to the imagination,

an idea that opened doors to questions, questions that Mars R in Libra pushed him to answer, and in answering them, to complete his sketch  of the human mind, human psychology,

what lay beneath the palace at Knossos,


the Ego’s battle with the Id’s untamed passion and with the moralistic Super-ego or ego ideal.

To defend it, build on it, make it 3 dimensional,


He continued to interpret the divisions of the human mind throughout his lifetime, calling our attention to their fluidity, to variations from individual to individual, and alterations caused by diseases of the mind.


He added to the Oedipus Complex. He brought in the defence mechanism of repression, and of gender identification. In males, gender identification diminished the fear of castration by the more powerful father, as they were no longer in competition,  and in females, it diminished penis envy as the mother didn’t possess one.

With his natal Sun in Taurus and his progressed Sun in Cancer, he revised and added to the interpretation of dreams.



One day Louis Malle asked himself, What’s this whole thing about the Oedipus Complex?


Chart for Louis Malle, born October 30, 1932, Thumeries, data from birth record

When he read Freud, Freud’s Ascendant conjoined his Sun and Moon in Scorpio, and Freud’s Venus conjoined his Uranus in Aries.

He wondered if he could make a movie based on the Oedipus complex.

He sat down to write the script, and said that once he started, he didn’t stop. It wrote itself.

He called the movie, Murmur of the Heart.



Chart for Carl Jung, born July 26, 1875, Kesswil, Switzerland


He gave this interview in 1959, with his natal Sun in Leo and his progressed Sun at 24 degrees Libra.

He says that Freud saw people only in terms of their libido, whereas he sees people in a broader context, the context of history, breathing the ideas of those who came before and the ideas of their time, and he calls the air of ideas we breathe the collective unconscious.

He says that at the age of 11, while walking to school, he stepped out of the mist and became aware of himself, separate from others. I am, he said, with his progressed Sun at 13 degrees Leo, conjoining Uranus.

It was with his progressed Sun conjunct Uranus that he overheard a conversation his father had about the family’s difficult financial situation. His father was worried about him, his schooling-

He realized that his father was counting on him becoming self sufficient, and he began to apply himself to his studies.

A love of learning grew at this point, and he  went on to study medicine. Then he did something unexpected. It was in 1898, when Jupiter began his transit through Libra. A book fell on his lap and he read the introduction. It was a book about Alienism, as psychiatry was then called, a book about assisting patients overcome their mental alienation.

With his progressed Sun at 24 degrees Leo, in a sextile to his natal Jupiter in Libra, he decided to change course. His friends couldn’t believe it. He had been offered a position by their professor, and he was going to give it up for a field that was nothing compared to medicine.

But it felt right.

He says that when he read the introduction of the book, he saw his two interests converge, the natural sciences and the humanities. There was room in psychiatry for Kant. There is collaboration in Libra, and it is a multidisciplinary sign.

With his progressed Sun in Virgo, he began working with patients who had schizophrenia, and  he read Freud’s books, Studies on Hysteria and the Interpretation of Dreams.

He may not have considered his correspondence with Freud important enough to publish in 1959, but in the early 1900s, Freud was important to him. He was a father figure and a friend.

Their correspondence began in 1904, when Jung sent him an article he’d written, and they met for the first time in 1907. We do not have an exact date of their  meeting, but on May 9, 1907, this is what the sky looked like.


Chart for May 9, 1907

Their romance lasted the years Uranus transited Capricorn,

a romance that influenced Jung’s eleventh house.

Jung embraced Freud’s ideas and was seen as the successor of the founder of psychoanalysis, the one who would lead the way.

But then he questioned Freud’s ideas. He found that Freud’s drawing of the mind was missing a key element, a lake of memories that connected man to history.

Friction grew between them, and when Jung’s book, The Psychology of the Unconscious, was published in 1912, their friendship ended.

Transiting Uranus in Capricorn had been trining Taurus, where Pluto can break something down, and Jung had been breaking down Freud’s theory of the mind and creating a theory of his own.

In 1912, Jupiter transited Sag. His natal Mars is in Sag and he defended his theory.

He pointed at Pluto in Taurus and said that man wasn’t born tabula rasa, subject only to biological impulses.

He pointed at Saturn in Aquarius and said that he believed there was an impersonal stratum in the psyche that connected man to a lake of memories, the collective unconscious.

He pointed at Jupiter in Libra and said he believed this because he had heard people with schizophrenia say things they couldn’t have known about the past, about religions of the past, when Helios was a god, and he cited examples.

He described schizophrenia as a lowering of consciousness, giving access to the unconscious, to the impersonal stratum in the unconscious.

In 1912, Uranus began his transit through Aquarius, the beginning of his Uranus opposition Uranus.

He defended his theory and became his own authority.

In Leo there can be a search for authority figures, a reliance on authority figures, until Leo finds authority in itself.


The Apotheosis of Hercules by Peter Paul Rubens, ca 1637

In 1914, with Jupiter and Uranus transiting Aquarius, he resigned as president of the International Psychoanalytic Society, and focused on his private practice,

in Leo in the sixth house.

He would always describe the collective unconscious as tying us to history, but there would also be derivatives.

He had an experience with transference at work, with a patient who transferred her feelings about her father onto him. He kept reminding her that he wasn’t her father, but she said she couldn’t help it. Jung reminded her of him. She described a dream where she saw him standing in a field of swaying wheat, golden wheat, cradling her.

He told her that the man in her dream sounded like a deity.  Perhaps the dream was pointing to a value missing in her life, a value she needed to explore.

A dream, a value, an image.

He went on to describe the collective unconscious as being made up of images, instinctual images, and not intellectual constructs. They were numinous images, archetypal. The collective unconscious was an agglomeration of archetypes, the raw material of our mythologies.

He brought this into his practice, the search for a numinous image that would help a patient on their path to individuation.


Wheat field with Reaper and Sun by Vincent van Gogh, 1889

He said many things about the unconscious mind. In his later years he said that man could never know his unconscious mind completely. It was separate from the conscious mind, an autonomous entity, capable of independent action. In light it could be a creative force, and in shadow it could dominate human behaviour and cause disturbances.

The unconscious mind existed outside of space and time. It is where hunches and inner knowing came from, the hunch of what lay around the corner, the inner knowing of what was to come.

Mars in Sag is in a quincunx to Pluto in Taurus, and he couldn’t see it until he saw that he was breaking down man’s biology, the science of man, to connect him not just to history and his tribe, but to what lay outside the bounds of science, to the mysteries, to something greater than he was.

When they asked him if he believed in god, he answered, I know. Mars in Sag knows or doesn’t know, and he had enough proof to know.


Through observation of his patients, he divided personality into two groups, extroverted and introverted, and further divided the two groups into four types, the thinking, feeling intuitive and sensation types.

But he said these were only skeletons, and what was missing was the flesh that made an extroverted thinking type different from another.

He said man reacted against being grouped, striving to find his own uniqueness and meaning in life.

In 1933, with his natal Sun in Leo and his progressed Sun at 28 degrees Virgo, he was offered a professorship in Zurich. He would continue his psychotherapeutic practice with his progressed Sun in Libra, but was sought after to teach and give lectures, and to comment on current events.

Because of his insights, many thought him a prophet.

Jung died in 1961, and in 2009, when his progressed Sun was at 14 degrees Sag, his illuminated manuscript, Liber Novus, was published. It is known as The Red Book.

Jung describes it as a record of his confrontations with the unconscious, which he tried to reach through induced hallucinations.

Aquarius is in the twelfth house, and it is here that in the evenings and on weekends he experimented with himself. He took medicine to access his unconscious mind, searching for  numinous images..

They say he worked on the book from 1914 to 1930. It is not a spontaneous book filled with sketches, fire images. It is a laboured work of art.

Worried about his reputation, he did not publish it and neither would his heirs, until his progressed Sun was in a trine to Uranus in Leo, and in a quincunx to the Moon in Taurus.

He kept it in his office for colleagues to see, and now the public can see it.


A public in the third house is anybody.

A public he never imagined he would have.

A public interested in the psychology of man.

A public interested in his friendship with Freud and the rupture with Freud, the crisis that ensued.

A public interested in him and his own individuation.

A public interested in his marital relationship.

The Moon rules Cancer in the fifth house, and it is here that he formulated his theory of the collective unconscious. It was the result of his studies and investigation, his work with schizophrenia, his analysis of Freud’s theory, the insights that Uranus’ transit through Capricorn brought him. There is history in Capricorn and a lake of memories in Cancer, universality in Aquarius and individuality in Leo.

He had ease to work on his theory.

Jupiter in Libra in the eighth house can speak of other people’s money, a large inheritance, his wife’s inheritance.

He was married to Emma Jung.

Some say she was the Hera archetype, never letting go of her man, despite the other women in his life

Maybe so. The ruler of the seventh house is in Cancer.

But she also brought Virgo wisdom into the marriage. He was a complex man. He described himself as having two and possibly more personalities. He was a shape shifter, like his theories that shape shifted in his attempt to grasp what had no weight or form or logic. She couldn’t always be everything he needed her to be.

He has the Sun in Leo and she has the Moon in Leo. There was an understanding between them.

Wherever Leo is in the chart, we can look for authority figures and be the authority figure someone needs, until they come into their own.

In Leo we are careful who we blame,

and there is forgiveness in the sign.

There is forgiveness in Le Fils.

The Dardenne brothers released their movie on October 9 2002, in Belgium.

There is apprenticeship in the story. The main character teaches teenage boys carpentry. He is the feeling type, sensation type too, introverted.

He is asked to take a new apprentice, and first he says no, and then yes.

He knows who the new apprentice is. Their stories converged in the past, but the new apprentice doesn’t know it.

When the new apprentice asks him to be his guardian, we are with Jupiter in Leo.



Chart for May 14, 2023

The Lunar Nodes are in the Scorpio Taurus polarity,

and the spirit of the times is in Taurus. Mercury was retrograding in Taurus, and today he turns direct.

Mars is transiting Cancer, and Venus has joined him. They will be together in Cancer until Mars steps into Leo on May 20.

Jupiter is finishing his transit through Aries. He makes his entry into Taurus on May 17. In Aries he doesn’t always bring new beginnings. With Mercury retrograding in Taurus, he can bring a fresh look and deeper understanding.

Higher octave of Mercury.

He will soon exit Aries,

but on July 12, the nodes will change polarity, and they will be in the Libra Aries polarity,

preparing us for Neptune’s entry into Aries in 2025 – 2026.


Chart for Henry VIII, born 28 June 1491 (Julian calendar), Greenwich, data from birth record

Mars in Virgo in the first house can be preoccupied with the body.


Henry VIII’s life was marked by a preoccupation with his body and his bloodline, the bloodline of the Tudors.

Not right away.

In the beginning he was the spare, and quite content about it. Neptune in Sag gave him a feeling of uprootedness, the liberty to explore other cultures and languages, and to put his life at risk with contact sports. The Sun in Cancer across from Uranus in Capricorn gave him a rebellious nature, the mind to question the laws of his homeland, the mind to think for himself.  

His brother’s death in 1502 changed everything. It was the same year transiting Pluto made his entry into Sag and took away his freedom. Roots, he said.

His natal Pluto is in Libra, and in Libra there are many things. There is measurement and precision,


and the ability to draw people’s attention, like Halley’s Comet can draw people’s attention to the heavens. He would draw people’s attention to the rights of man, the right of a king to secure his bloodline through multiple marriages.

We can break boundaries wherever Sag is in the chart, and he broke boundaries in the fourth house,

 boundaries imposed by the Pope and the Roman Church that prevented him from leaving heirs.

The ruler of the fourth house is in Gemini in the tenth, the work he came to do,

and he came to rescue the monarchy.


There is rescue in Gemini, and Henry VIII rescued the monarchy by differentiating the Roman Church from the Church of England.

His natal Sun is in Cancer in the eleventh house of the groups we belong to, and he belongs to his homeland, founding father of the England we know,

former king and first head of the Church of England,

maker of laws,

allowing a king the right to secure his bloodline.


The Moon, ruler of Cancer, is in Aries in the eighth house, house of other people’s money. He took possession of all the assets of the Roman Church for the homeland and the Church of England.

But there are many layers of meaning to every house, including the eighth.

In 1509, age 17, he married his brother’s widow, Catherine of Aragon, and was crowned king. His natal Sun was in Cancer and his progressed Sun at 1 degree Leo, conjoining Mercury. A time of initiation.


16th century woodcut of the coronation of Henry VIII of England and Catherine of Aragon showing their heraldic badges, the Tudor rose and the pomegranate

Chart for 24 June 1509, date of Henry VIII’s coronation, timed to match his rising sign

A public that would focus on his body and his eighth house, his sex life, his breaking of taboos, his excommunication, his crimes, his obsession with children, male heirs, and his crises. His married life was beset with miscarriages and stillborn children.

Only one of his children with Catherine reached adulthood, Mary.

His father had asked him to marry Catherine, and he carried out his father’s wish before he was crowned king.

But seeing her unable to give him a male heir, he may have thought that god was punishing him. They say he quoted from the bible when he asked the Pope to annul his marriage, If a man shall take his brother’s wife, it is an impurity; he hath uncovered his brother’s nakedness; they shall be childless.

The Pope refused to annul his marriage, and his battle with the Roman Church began.

The seventh house of marriage in his chart is in Pisces, and the rulers are in the fourth house and the tenth. Catherine had been home to him, loved by the people, but he sent her away so he could marry Anne Boleyn.

He married Anne in 1533, with his natal Sun in Cancer and his progressed Sun at 24 degrees Leo, in a sextile to Gemini and in a trine to Sag.

People worried about holy retribution as Anne walked pregnant down the aisle.

The second marriage is seventh from the seventh house, in Virgo, a more demanding house than Pisces. Mars in Virgo squares and trines, and has ties to Aries in the eighth house.

The Moon in Aries is a passionate moon.

There is Medea in Aries, priestess of Hecate, who did the unthinkable for love.

He did the unthinkable for the rights of kings,

for a son.

Not all at once.

He first gathered round him trusted advisers who laboured on his behalf, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell, Thomas Cranmer who married him to Anne.

She gave birth to Elizabeth, followed by a stillbirth and miscarriages,

and he must have felt betrayed because she was beheaded.

In 1536  he married Jane Seymour, Piscean wife. She gave birth to Edward, Henry’s only legitimate male heir, before she died.

Grief. He would be buried beside her.

In 1540, with his progressed Sun at 1 degree Virgo, he married Anne of Cleaves, but the marriage was never consummated. They say he agreed to marry her when he saw her portrait, but when he saw her in real life, he was disappointed and the marriage was annulled.

Venus, stepping into Gemini, gave him a taste for women who caught everyone’s eye, and the Moon in Aries asked that they be passionate, loyal and creative.

If we put Anne of Cleaves in the house of the fourth wife, it throws the Pisces Virgo pattern off.

If we leave her out, the woman he married next would enter Virgo and be beheaded, as Catherine Howard was.

Then came Catherine Parr who did not conceive. But with Parr, Henry passed an act that returned Mary and Elizabeth to the line of succession. He was married to her until he died in 1547.

He had a jousting accident in 1537, and they say this was a turning point in his life. The accident left him with an ulcerated leg, and his athletic body grew heavy, and his character disintegrated.

Hilary Mantel points out that such things can happen when one suffers from chronic pain. She knows because she suffered from chronic pain.

She also brings up the hypothesis that Henry may have had a blood type called Kells positive. It would explain why a healthy child was followed by stillbirths and miscarriages.


In Henry’s chart, Virgo rules the body, and the ruler is in Leo.


She says that if the kells positive hypothesis is true, then it makes the history of his reign, not a moral tragedy, but a biological tragedy.

She says that the efforts of the wives, the politicians and churchmen didn’t avail because a genetic lottery was in operation.

They availed.



Chart for Hilary Mantel, born 6 July 1952, Glossop, UK, time unknown

Penelope was at her loom for ten years, keeping all distractions at bay, while Neptune took Odysseus from one adventure to the next.


Penelope and the suitors by John William Waterhouse, 1912

The suitors claimed that Odysseus had been shipwrecked, and she should marry one of them.

She would marry one of them when she finished weaving the shroud for her father in law, she said.

She unravelled it at night, while her son Telemachus slept,

and weaved it anew at day. Loyal, industrious.


Penelope unravelling her web by Joseph Wright of Derby, 1784

Hilary Mantel unravelled Thomas Cromwell and weaved him anew in her Wolf Hall trilogy. She began writing it in 2004, and the last book was published in 2020, two years before she died.

She wrote it with her natal Sun in Cancer and her progressed Sun in Virgo.

They are books that have had an effect on her homeland and culture.

She had wondered about Cromwell, how the son of a blacksmith from Putney rose to become Henry VIII’s chief minister, the villainous Cromwell. When she decided to write about him, she spent much of her time in libraries.

Her books are historical fiction. They are grounded in history, but she says that history is filled with silences, and that’s where fiction comes in, or historical imagination, as she calls it.

The more she read about Henry’s reign, the men around him, the prejudices of the men around him, the more she understood why Thomas Cromwell had become the villain.

She stepped into Henry’s time, the context of his time, and suddenly found herself inside Cromwell’s head, filling in the silences,

weaving words.


Athena teaches the women to weave by Peter von Cornelius, 1808

Athena, goddess of wisdom, war and weaving.

Protector of Odysseus.

She offered Athens an olive tree, and Neptune offered a salt spring, and Athens chose Athena’s gift, and it sparked a rivalry between them.

Athena tried to get Odysseus home, and Neptune kept him wandering.

Hilary Mantel could have kept wandering, but Saturn is at a lower degree than Neptune in Libra, in her house of contracts.

They say that she married her husband, divorced him, and married him again. Structure, the dissolution of structure, and the triumph of structure.

They say he was a geologist when she married him first, and he would come to assist her when she married him again.


Chart for 6 July 1952, timed

She wasn’t brought up in a traditional home. One day her mother’s lover moved in, and her father allowed it. They occupied the main bedroom, while her father slept on a couch. They lived this way for four years, until the day her father disappeared. She never saw him again. Mantel is her stepfather’s name.

She says that she couldn’t step out of the house without people asking her what was going on inside, and who slept where.

There was so much rumour and gossip around them.

Her natal Sun Uranus Venus in Cancer are in a sextile to Jupiter in Taurus, in the house of resources.

In the books she read, she paid attention to the rumour and gossip around Thomas Cromwell. Rumour and gossip carry the prejudices of a society.

She began writing when she and her husband lived in Botswana in the late 70s early 80s, with her progressed Sun in Leo.

It is also in Botswana that she consulted medical books to figure out what was wrong with her, why the migraines she had suffered since childhood, the chronic pain all around her body, everywhere except her feet.

She found the answer. Endometriosis.

When she was back in England, the diagnosis was confirmed and she had surgery, and they removed her reproductive organs. She wouldn’t be able to have children.

She gave herself to writing, to her creations, her characters.

She found that when she developed her characters, she unconsciously became them. The words she wove were their words,

and that’s when the nightmares came.

Throughout her life, she experienced the paranormal. She tells of a haunted house her family lived in when she was a child, with ghostly apparitions and sudden drops in temperature. The paranormal was something familiar to her and something she most feared.

With her progressed Sun in Leo, she wrote about people like herself, in touch with the paranormal, psychics and mediums,

and at some point, she realized that when the nightmares came, they were an indication that her work was going well. She had touched the essence of her characters, the nadir, and was giving them expression.

She  made fear part of her work.

In the Wolf Hall trilogy, the characters are historical. The work demanded study, and she began to study the life of Thomas Cromwell when transiting Pluto touched her natal Moon in Sag.


Chart for 19 May 2004

There is a portal in Sag, the pull of the galactic centre, curiosity to know what lies beyond, the courage to break limits and know the truth, reveal the truth, a truth to live by.

She went back to the sources. 

With her natal Mars in Scorpio, she peeled off the layers that had been added to Cromwell through time, and studied the original documents, records and letters to get to the truth.

Jupiter joins Sag with Taurus, and there is historiography here.

Her Moon in Sag touches Libra, and there is something Libra knows that she understood. We cannot escape the mentality of our times. The principles we are brought up with influence how we see others, how we see the past, how we judge the past.

Her natal planets in Cancer, in a square to Saturn in Libra, pushed her to break the boundaries of her time, and to participate in the mentality of the times of Henry VIII.

She began to write and to bring Cromwell back to life.

He didn’t come alone. Hundreds of characters came with him, but he was her guide.

There are images in fire, and when she read about his life and the life of those he brought with him, she saw them.

Gory times, burnings, hangings, beheadings, spilt blood.

When the nightmares came, she welcomed them.

She wove the images into her story. With her planets in Libra, she wrote a visual story, filmic, a story that could be turned into a play, a TV series.

Saturn was transiting Cancer when she began to write her trilogy. The last book was published when a grand stellium was transiting Capricorn, the sign of her Midheaven, where her natal Chiron is.


Chart for 5 March 2020

She finished filling in the silences and became an authority in the period of time that was Henry VIII’s reign.

The ripples her books sent did not change the history of her country. They do not rise above to judge or see the outcome.

They stay on the ground, with the characters. There is gravity in Capricorn.

She unravelled one man and wove him anew, the man we stand behind when we read the books. We look over his shoulder to see all that happened from the time he was a boy until he died. He wasn’t the villainous Cromwell anymore. She changed a cultural perception.

After she killed him, she walked around her house feeling cold, and wondered why. She realized that it was because his body was growing cold. She said that over identifying with a character could destabilize one’s core.

She said that a writer writes about things or people that touch them in some way, consciously or unconsciously, and Thomas Cromwell must have touched her in some way. We do not have his date of birth, Nobody, but he may have been a solar Aries, her Odysseus.

The king led her to him.

He touched her first, consciously.

His natal Sun touches hers in her lake of memories.

One day in 2004, she was thinking about her surname, how it had no connection to her body. It told her nothing about her genes or her blood. It separated her from her family tree, her roots. Just then, Henry VIII popped into her mind, his preoccupation with passing on his surname to legitimate heirs. She felt his regret. What for? For sending Cromwell to his death.


In 1530, Uranus made his entry into Cancer, and in 1533 Henry VIII married Anne Boleyn.

He fulfilled his father’s wish when he married Catherine of Aragon, and during his Uranus opposition Uranus, he broke free and married Anne.

He was about to turn 42.

His mid life crisis contributed to what he’d never really intended to do, separate England from the Church of Rome.

He broke free and his homeland broke free. He created something new, something that strengthened England’s borders, the country’s autonomy.

There is creation in Capricorn. It is where Enki-Ea fashioned people out of clay to serve the gods, and where he wrote the laws to govern them. Purposeful creation. Of the earth. Lover of mankind.

There is creation in Cancer. It is where Hera breastfed Hercules, and when she sensed who he was, the son of Jupiter with a mortal, she pulled him away, and from the spray of milk that came from her breast, the milky way was born. Creation that came from hurt, emotions. In the sky. Queen of heaven.



Chart for Isaac Newton, born January 4 1643 of the Gregorian calendar (December 25 1642 of the Julian calendar), Woolsthorpe Manor

There is soliloquy in Capricorn. It is where Enki-Ea spoke to a wall of reeds, and told of a flood to come, and the preparations needed to prevent the thread of life from breaking.

Soliloquies to process things. Soliloquies to figure things out. Newton may have delivered his in the fourth house. His mother said he was born an hour or two after midnight, and from 12 am until 2 am on January 4 1643, the rising sign was Libra. In whole signs, Libra in the first house.


Chart for January 4 1643, Woolsthorpe Manor, 2 am

He is described as someone who found himself, his talents, by being pitted against another. He became a top student as a form of revenge against a schoolyard bully.

He is described as someone who didn’t take criticism lightly. He raged and sought to publicly humiliate his critics.


Achilles dragging the body of Hector by Franz Matsch, 1892

He went to Cambridge in 1661, with his natal Sun in Capricorn and his progressed Sun at 1 degree Aquarius in his fifth house.

Like others, he questioned the traditional teachings at Cambridge, and read Copernicus, Galileo, Descartes. But he kept his questions private, in a notebook. He did not want to call attention.

He lived in a period of time that is called the Scientific Revolution, a time that was leaving behind a philosophical view of the world,  and leaning toward a mechanical view, seeking to understand the mechanics behind matter and motion.

The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge was established the year before he went to Cambridge.


Chart for the Royal Society, born November 28, 1660, London

His natal Pluto is in Gemini, and Pluto was still transiting Gemini, questioning, breaking things apart to see how they were put together, how they worked, and testing theories to see if they held true.

Saturn in Scorpio asked for mastery of the mysteries,

and Jupiter in Libra asked for a place where learned men could gather to present their findings and debate.

The spirit of the times was open to new laws.


Atlas holding the celestial globe by Guercino, 1646

In 1656 and early 1657, transiting Uranus in Capricorn conjoined Newton’s natal Sun in direct, retrograde and direct motion.

This was the time when his mother pulled him out of school to take care of the farmlands she inherited from her second husband. Her first husband, Newton’s father, died 3 months before Newton was born, and when he was 3 years old, she married again.

The school principal tried to persuade her not to. Newton was a good candidate for university. But she pulled him out anyway, and when she held his chart one day, she got a shock. His natal Sun in the fourth house did not root him. On the contrary, it asked for freedom.

She watched him read a book under a tree when he was supposed to be watching the cattle, and put him back in school.

In 1660, when Jupiter began his transit through Newton’s first house, his maternal uncle recommended him to Cambridge, and Newton was accepted the following year.

In between his BA and MA degrees, the university shut down for two years because of the plague, and Newton returned home. They say that it was during this time that Newton soliloquized, and lay the foundations for his work on optics, calculus, and the laws of motion.

When he was finishing his MA degree, his professor, who was retiring, recommended that he be the one to succeed him. Newton lectured on optics, and made a reflecting telescope that got rid of chromatic aberration. It caught the attention of the Royal Society.

In 1672, with his progressed Sun at 12 degrees Aquarius, Newton volunteered a paper on optics to the Royal Society, and a leading member criticized it. His name was Robert Hooke.


Chart for Robert Hooke, born July 28, 1635 of the Julian calendar, Freshwater, England, data from news report

Aquarius is in Newton’s fifth house of romance and creativity, and our favourite things. It is through the fifth house that friends get to know us. There is intimacy here, and in Newton’s chart, there is the need for privacy. His Nadir is in Aquarius,

and his natal Venus, ruler of the first house and eighth house.

When he volunteered his paper on optics, he opened the door of his fifth house, and put himself in a vulnerable position. Like Patroclus put himself in a vulnerable position,

and Hector killed him.


Achilles lamenting the death of Patroclus by Gavin Hamilton, 1760

Achilles raged and went on a killing spree, and the River Scamander complained to the gods that his waters were chocking with corpses.

Newton’s rage has been described as irrational, flaming and abnormal. Venus and Mars rose in him to protect his work, his creation, his love. They put him in crisis mode and he went into isolation and perfected his work,

because whatever fault it was that Hooke had pointed out was true.

He presented a second paper in 1675, and the same scenario repeated itself, but he managed to control his rage and there were apologies.

He retreated again, and they say that this was his alchemical period, the time when he experimented with the elements, sociable elements and unsociable elements, the attraction and repulsion between particles of matter. He would merge this study with the mechanical view of the world to analyse planetary motion.

When word got out that this is what he was doing, Hooke began a correspondence with him. He too was interested in the subject.

It must have felt intrusive. Hooke’s natal Sun asked to see Newton’s fifth house, his Nadir, and Hooke’s natal Jupiter must have felt intimidating.

All it takes is one person to trigger the characteristics of a sign, and Aquarius is the most socialized sign in the zodiac. In Aquarius there are systems without a centre, systems that develop with the input of others.

Newton reluctantly agreed to the correspondence, and there was a back and forth between them about the path a body would take if it dropped from a tower. Newton said it would drop to the centre of the earth, and Hooke said that according to his theory, the path would be elliptical. 

There were things Hooke said that helped Newton make corrections to his own theory of orbital dynamics,


Relief of Mercury in Olomouc

but Newton went farther than anyone had before.

In 1686, with his natal Sun in Capricorn, and his progressed Sun at 27 degrees Aquarius, conjunct his natal Venus, he sent the manuscript of his book, The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, to the Royal Society. In it were his three laws of motion and his law of universal gravitation. He laid the foundation for Cancer to fly.

They say Hooke cried, Plagiarism! But Newton had made references to Hooke’s messages. He gave credit to everyone his work was built on. And everyone knew that the mathematical precision of his formula, tested and re tested to hold true to the infinitesimal fluxion, the word he invented for derivative, was his.

His progressed Sun was conjunct Venus,

in a t square to the Gemini Sag polarity. His Principia was the culmination of his studies. It opened doors to a new reality.

in a trine to the Moon in Cancer. It brought new understanding of the world to the world, a formula everyone could use, written in a universal language.

Not everyone believed in a force that acted at a distance, and not everyone understood it,

but in time, Gravity would be institutionalized.


He was having his Uranus opposition Uranus at the same time that his progressed Sun entered Pisces. It was a time when he broke free from his cloistered life and became Warden of the Mint.

All his contracts gave him freedom. In Cambridge he had the freedom to choose the subject of his lectures. And all his contracts tied him to the eighth house. He would go after counterfeiters as Warden of the Mint. They say he disguised himself as someone who frequented taverns and prosecuted 28 counterfeiters.


In 1703, with his natal Sun in Capricorn, and his progressed Sun at 14 degrees Pisces, conjunct Jupiter and Saturn, he became president of the Royal Society.

There is Enki-Ea in Capricorn, he who sees into the depths.

Newton had seen into the depths and become the authority in his field.

He had a following. Young British scientists studied him and called themselves Newtonians. They would be the ones to occupy teaching positions at the universities and spread his laws.


Enki-Ea flanked by fish-cloaked apkallus (priests) sprinkling water from the abzu, spreading his laws, Assur, Iraq, 7th century BCE

Newton never married, but he was close to his step siblings and their children. Around this time, his niece Catherine came to live with him to be his housekeeper. She was like a daughter to him.

They say the Sun in the fourth house can give a long life, and Newton lived a long life. Both Catherine and her husband took care of him during his final years.

He died peacefully in his sleep in 1727, at the age of 84, with his progressed Sun at 8 degrees Aries, close to the point of Ketu.

There can be sacrifice in Aries, and in his chart, Aries is in the seventh house. Sacrifice for Arete in Taurus in the eighth.

He studied motion and matter, and meddled with the alchemical arts

He studied the past

In solitude

To offer perfectly balanced equations.


His funeral was attended by nobles, scientists and philosophers, and his monument is particular to him.

His correspondence with Hooke was in late 1679, early 1680, when the spirit of the times was in Aries, and Jupiter was transiting Taurus.


Chart for May 29, 1680, timed to match Newton’s chart

Uranus was transiting Aries, where we can take a leap of faith, where we can sacrifice.

Jupiter was transiting Taurus, bringing him a gift.

Neptune was transiting Aquarius, accentuating the qualities of the sign, qualities that Hooke helped trigger in him. Systems without a centre. The ability to rise and see with a bird’s eye. Universality. Purity.

Pluto was transiting Cancer. Pluto began his transit through Cancer around the time Newton’s telescope came to the attention of the Royal Society.

Saturn was transiting Cancer. With Pluto, the structure of the heavens was changing.

There is Argos Panoptes in Cancer.


The peacock complaining to Hera by Gustave Moreau, 1881

Purity in Aquarius and Argos across from his natal Sun in Capricorn.

He never married and stuck to high morals. An unblemished reputation.

He accepted Jupiter’s gift.

His gifts don’t come easy.


Chart for Jeremy Bentham, born February 15, 1748, London, UK, date without time of birth

He belongs to the history of ideas, specifically, Utilitarianism. He came across it with his natal Sun in Aquarius, and his progressed Sun conjoining Venus in Pisces.

His stellium in Aquarius is a demanding stellium. When his father held his chart, he saw his little boy as lord chancellor, and the pressure was on.

He was 21 when he was called to the Bar, and soon after, he decided that the practice of law was not for him. He preferred legal theory, and when he came across Utilitarianism, he found the anchor he needed to release the pressure of the stellium.

He would merge Utilitarianism with his Panopticon.

The idea for the Panopticon was born during a visit to his brother in Krichev. His brother was an engineer supervising many workers. He wished that he could supervise them in a more efficient manner.


“Have them in a circle, all around me.”

A Roman amphitheatre flashed through Jeremy’s mind.

“A Roman amphitheatre just flashed through my mind.”

“I don’t want them playing soccer! Next thing I know they’ll bring their kids to work!”

“You could modify it,” said Jeremy, taking out charcoal and a sketch pad from his sac. “See? Each one in their own module, and you in the middle of the field, with one of those telescopes in vogue.”


“I see,” said his brother.

“It would make a good correctional facility, wouldn’t it? Multiple levels, with a tower in the centre, the guards’ tower.”

“I hear the motherland’s having trouble with prisons. Maybe something like this would help. How many guards do you think it would need?

“Well, it depends. If the inmates can’t see inside the tower-“

“One! Just one all-seeing guard instilling a correctional eye inside every inmate. Like we have the eye of god inside us.”

“I’ll call the area around the tower The Chapel.”

“What about the whole facility?”


Io, Argos Panoptes and Mercury by Pinturicchio, 1492

Jeremy went to visit his brother in late 1786, with his progressed Sun at 3 degrees Aries. He stayed for two years working on his theory of the Panopticon. He must have like it there.

During this time, transiting Pluto was in Aquarius and transiting Uranus was in Cancer.

In his chart, Pluto digs in Scorpio. On the surface, there is clan in Scorpio, the ties of clan, the protection of clan. Beneath the surface, there are mysteries, the mysteries of the mind.

He developed a Utilitarian philosophy based on increasing happiness and reducing pain, different in every person, and nothing that could be measured statistically.

They thought him naive.

His natal Uranus in Aquarius asked that he take one thing that made most people happy, one thing that most people had in common.

His legal background was particular to his time and place, so when he heard people say that the one thing was natural rights, an image of the American Revolution flashed through his mind and he shook his head. Natural rights were too broad, they could be abused, they could bring down governments, bring anarchy.

Property made most people happy. Ownership. People needed laws that secured property. If a few weren’t happy with ownership, the laws would help re direct them.

All laws were correctional laws.

If there was abundance and a few did not have enough, taxes could be introduced without causing too much pain, to give the few what they needed.

Pain had to be monitored, because excessive pain was the cause of evil.

His natal Venus is in Pisces, natural ruler of the twelfth house, house of faraway places, where we rest and recover, find refuge and seclusion, house of exile.

Sign of raw material.

He applied Utilitarianism to his theory of the Panopticon.

Venus is in a trine to Pluto in Scorpio and Neptune in Cancer,



His design was Aquarian. All inmates separate but together, working for the common good. There would be a spiral pump for them to pump their own water. There would be hand operated looms.

But the design of the tower would influence their psychology.

The feeling of being watched at all times, creating self regulation.

Transiting Pluto was in Aquarius and transiting Uranus was in Cancer, and his overall design, of ideal perfection, as he described it, was intended to bring people back into the fold, efficiently.

In 1789, with his progressed Sun at 6 degrees Aries, conjunct his natal Mars, he returned to London and hired an architect to draw the plans.

In 1791, he published ‘Panopticon, or The Inspection House.’

He followed it with a proposal to the English government, to build the Panopticon and appoint him as governor.

He drafted the Panopticon Bill, and his commentaries tell of his concern with the welfare of prisoners after they were discharged. He would be held responsible if they went back to a life of crime, and so he gave the government the responsibility of a welfare structure to prevent this from happening.

It was a structure made up of existing institutions, but he expanded their roles, and gave magistrates new duties.

He made good use of  what was available.


Chart for Jeremy Bentham, timed

The project never materialized. The excuse given was that the land he had chosen for the Panopticon could not be obtained. It was rising in value and the owner wouldn’t sell.

But they say the real reason was because his voluminous Bill was a Trojan Horse for law reform.

While his progressed Sun was in Aries, he continued to work on the Bill, adding to the structure that would support it. In doing so, he released ideas ahead of his time, ideas that minded the gap in marginality.


In 1811, with his progressed Sun at 28 degrees Aries, he received compensation from the government, and it freed him. He closed a chapter in his life and moved on to other Utilitarian concerns. He was 63 years old.

He never married, but he was not chaste. The ruler of the fifth house is in Pisces, and they say he fell in love passionately. The ruler of the eighth house is in Aquarius, and he wrote about the things that made most people happy. The ruler of the twelfth house is in Aquarius too. He was an explorer.

Resourceful man.


His father left him an inheritance that gave him independence and allowed him freedom of thought. But he was self conscious. He knew what not to publish.

By the time his progressed Sun reached Taurus, he was considered the father of Utilitarianism. He called his followers disciples, and among them were doctors.

He died in 1832, age 84, with his progressed Sun at 18 degrees Taurus, across from his Midheaven and Saturn in Scorpio.

He left his body to Dr. Thomas Southwood Smith, to be dissected in a public forum.

The Anatomy Act would pass a month after his death, and his body was the first body to be given to science, almost legally.

Standing over his body, Dr. Smith praised his friend, and said that even in death, he sought to promote his principles of utility. 


It was a triumphant moment for those who shared his principles.


Chart for June 6, 1832, timed to match the rising sign of Jeremy Bentham

Minding the gap of the body.

Transiting Saturn was conjunct his natal Moon, and Saturn can cut in half. The dissection caused controversy in particular fields, specialized fields, judicial and medical. It caused controversy among apprentices.

Controversy can give rise to discussions that can prepare us for what is coming, precipitate what is coming.

A week before he died, he went to see the doctor.

“I don’t want to die, Tom. There’s still a fire burning inside me.”

“You’re in good shape, Jeremy. Carry on!”

“Something tells me my time’s coming.”

“If I had the elixir of life, you know I’d give it to you.”

“To be young again. pause To be born again. pause Resurrect me, Tom.”

“What do you mean?”

“After you dissect me, sit me up in a chair. Make me omnipresent, like the tower of my Panopticon.”

“Well, I could preserve your bones-“

“Could you arrange them in a chair? Hold them up and dress them in my black suit?”

“I suppose I-“

“Before you do, sever my head.”

“Whatever for!”

He took eyes made of glass from his pocket and handed them to Tom.


Juno receiving the eyes of Argos for her peacock by Peter Paul Rubens, 1610

“Glass eyes-“

“For my desiccated head. To lay on top of my bones. Have you ever desiccated a head?”


“Try not to botch it.”


Chart for Dr. Smith, born December 21, 1788, Martock, UK, untimed

Jeremy’s Ascendant conjoins the doctor’s Sun Mars in Capricorn.


Not that kind of romance.

The kind that creates art, and with the stellium in Aquarius in Jeremy’s chart, it was eccentric art, out of the box,

with a good dose of Enki humour.

They were men who made good use of what they had.

When they were together, Uranus in one chart opposed Uranus in the other. Rebellious together, breaking free from being The Doctor and The Father of Utilitarianism. It brought out the child within.

They commemorated their friendship with Jeremy’s auto-icon.

The bones turned out okay, but the doctor botched the head. So he commissioned a wax head for the bones, and rested the botched head on the ground, between Jeremy’s legs. He kept the auto-icon in a glass case in his consulting room until 1850, and then gifted it to University College London.

The students have never tampered with the bones. Capricorn rules the bones and there is gravity in the sign.

Aries rules the head and the head began its journey the way journeys begin in Aries.


Hera disguised herself as an old woman and Jason helped her cross the river. He lost his sandal and entered Iolcus with a limp

Students from UCL’s rival, King’s College London, kidnapped the head. They demanded a £100 ransom to be paid to the homeless charity ‘Shelter.’  UCL bargained the ransom down to £10, and the head was returned.

But its journey continues.



Valley of Signal


“It’s the only place to find S1gN9L, and it isn’t easily found.”

“I heard it signals its presence. That’s why it’s called Signal.”

“How does a mineral in a rock signal its presence?”

“Maybe by the colour of the rock.”

“Not like that. It makes a signal.”

“What kind of signal?”

“I don’t know.”

“Is it visible?”

“The signal?”

“No, S1gN9L. Can you see it, or is it like the chakras?”

They walked into the new age bookstore and heard chimes when the door closed behind them. A woman standing at the counter smiled at them.

He walked up to her and told her that they worked at the clinic across the street. “Something curious happened this morning. We all had patients who asked to be prescribed Signal for blocked chakras. Is there a section on the subject?”

There were about a hundred books on the subject. They each took ten and checked the indexes for the word Signal, but none of them had it.

They were putting the books back when they noticed a shelf with bagged stones, stones to open chakras.

He picked up a bag and took it to the counter. The woman was busy on the phone, so he drummed his fingers and waited. When she got off, he asked her if any of the stones were Signal.

“No,” she said. “My impression is that it’s like chalk. It has to be scraped off a rock.”

“What’s it for?”

“Permanence, I think. You add a bit of it to ink and it makes your signature permanent.”

“What’s that got to do with chakras?”

“Nothing that comes to mind. That’s why I called my boss. She’s a chakra expert. She told me they interviewed a man this morning who said Signal opens chakras. It was on the radio.”

“That explains the rush at the clinic! What did he say?”

“She didn’t hear it. Someone she knows did. She’s finding out more about it and will call me back. Maybe Signal has properties we didn’t know about.”

“Would you come tell us? Or I’ll leave you my phone number.”


He wrote down his phone number.

“Gerd, it’s time to go.”

They were all waiting for him at the door.

He walked to the door and turned to wave at her, and the poster on the wall, above her head, caught his eye.

“Wait. I’m getting that poster.”


Chakra positions in supposed relation to nerve plexuses, from Charles W. Leadbeater’s book The Chakras, 1927

Lotus looked through the poster bin. “The one on the wall is the only one left. Do you still want it?”


“He collects hybrid posters.”

“Incredible how he spots them.”

“Hybrid like the Minotaur?”

“More like the marriage between science and the esoteric.”

“No,” said Gerd. “Lotus is right. Hybrid like the Minotaur.”

She was about to peel off the tack from the corners of the poster.

“Don’t peel it off.”

She rolled it and handed it to him.


Theseus and the Minotaur by Étienne-Jules Ramey, 1826

“I didn’t know this was here.”

“It’s a copy. The original one is in the Tuileries Garden.”

“So what did you want to tell me?”

“The whole focus is on Theseus and the Minotaur, right? But there’s the other side of the story. Theseus and Ariadne. He promised to take her with him and marry her if she helped him kill the Minotaur. But he abandoned her on an island, in Naxos, and that’s where she met Dionysus.”

“You mean she met addiction?”

“No. He freed her from the past and the feeling of abandonment. She was born again. He married her and gave her permanence.”

“Wait a second, you’re not asking me to-“

“No! I’m getting to Signal and the interview!”

“Well, hurry up before I run away!”

“My boss sent me a recording of the interview.”

“Play it.”

They listened.

What if she hadn’t met Dionysus. What if she had sat by the seashore, quieted her mind and focused on her breathing.

Isn’t that what meditation is about?

It is. When we quiet the mind and focus on the breathing, we open the chakras and connect with something higher than ourselves.

“Like Dionysus.”


She was in the ideal place to do it.

Yes. Naxos is a beautiful place. So is Signal, where I come from. Signal opens chakras.

“You mean he doesn’t say anything about the actual S1gN9L?”


“I’m curious about it. I heard it signals its presence. I think I’ll go to the Valley of Signal this weekend.”

“You’ll need more than a couple of days. They only way to get there is by foot.”


Ariadne by Angelica Kauffmann, 1774

“I’ve heard it’s dangerous to open the crown chakra.”

“Me too. Makes you ecstatic.”

“You can go out of your mind.”

“Nobody knows how to open it.”

“Don’t gurus know?”

“They warn that you need guidance to open it, but they don’t know.”

“I think Ariadne’s crown chakra opened when she found herself alone in Naxos.”

“Through meditation?”

“No. She fell madly in love with Theseus. She helped him kill Asterion, and then he abandoned her. Something built in her root chakra that burst through the crown chakra, and in that state, she met Dionysus.”


The meeting of Dionysus and Ariadne by Sebastiano Ricci, 1713

“You’ve been thinking about this, Lotus.”

She nodded. “He immortalized her with the corona borealis. I think that up in the sky is her crown chakra.”

They all looked up at the sky.

“Maybe we’ll see it tonight.”

“We should look for a place to set up camp.”


“You were saying that a build up of intense emotions can open the crown chakra.”

“She had no one to turn to.”

“You also said the other day that she was born again.”

“Because Dionysus was born twice. His mother was the mortal Semele, one of Jupiter’s loves. She asked to see him in his true form, and the intensity of his true form killed her. She was pregnant with Dionysus, so he took the child from her womb and had him sown inside his thigh.”

“There’s intensity in the story.”

“A mortal birth and an immortal birth.”

“So many people turn to religion or a spiritual practice when they’ve experienced trauma.”

“I thought Dionysus was just the god of wine.”

“In essence, he’s a liberator.”

“What about Medea? You think her crown chakra opened too?”

“If it did, she didn’t meet Dionysus.”

“She may have met his shadow.”

“Ariadne the crown and Medea the shadow.”


The French actress Mlle Clairon in Medea by Charles André van Loo, 1760

“Did your boss get in touch with the man in the interview?”

“Yes. He’s going to lodge us in his ashram.”

“He has an ashram?”

“Guess what he teaches? Kundalini yoga. The kind that opens the crown chakra. I saw a poster in the bookstore. A snake slithering up the chakras.”

“He says there are 114 chakras-“

“My poster has 7.”

“Those are the main ones. The snake is symbolic. He describes it as life force coiled up in the root chakra, and the aim of Kundalini is to make it rise by opening the other chakras. The third eye chakra should be the limit. To aim for the crown chakra is to plunge into the abyss.”

“Did you talk to him about Ariadne?”




We’re walking through Op territory today.”

“Is there an Op version of Dionysus? You know, like the Romans have Bacchus?”

“Not that I know of.”

“So who would you meet if your crown chakra were to open here?”

“Hopefully not Op-Maul.”

“Isn’t Embrun in Op territory?”

“Yes. We should be there in an hour.”

“What’s on your mind, Gerd?”

“The Oracle.”


The Oracle by Kamal Rao

“I guess that’s why it’s dangerous. You become so engrossed in it that the mundane becomes irrelevant.”

The Attendant to the Temple of Op-Pollo agreed. “We’ve had many Oracles, good ones. This one’s new. He’s giving us a bit of trouble. Never bathes and is never on time. Always trying to reach Alphecca.”

The Oracle opened his eyes and pointed at the sky.

They all looked up at the sky.

“What’s Alphecca?”

“The brightest star in the Corona Borealis constellation,” said the Attendant.

“Do you know the story of Ariadne?”




“They reached Alphecca the hard way.”

The Oracle sat up. “An ascetic life?”

“No. They fell madly in love.”

A tear rolled down the Oracle’s cheek. “I fell madly in love too. I made a promise that if I couldn’t have her, I would renounce all relations and possessions.”

“That’s a hard promise to make.”

“Maybe I was foolish, but a promise is a promise, and I made it to the three gods. I’m hoping they’ll reward me with illumination and purification, and not madness.”

“So you’d meet all three in Alphecca?”

“I never thought of it that way.  (pause) It’s a scary thought.”

“There’s an ashram man in Signal. He teaches Kundalini yoga and doesn’t recommend aiming for the crown chakra.”

“We’re going there. Do you want to join us?”

“If the Attendant will allow it.”

“Good idea,” said the Attendant. “Let’s hope he puts some sense into you.”


“Which way are we going?”

“We’re taking the path through the forest.”

“How did you become an Oracle?”

“Detachment from the mundane is key. Knowledge of impermanence is key. Meditation is key. It can put you in a trance. It loosens up the chakras and lets the messages flow in.” He faced the sun, extended his arm with his palm facing him, and counted.

“What are you doing?”

“Measuring time. Every finger from the horizon to the sun is fifteen minutes. It’s almost time to meditate.”

“But you just finished.”

“We’ll have to stop soon. We walk for fifteen minutes and meditate for fifteen minutes.”

“No way.”

“Have you heard of walking meditation? You clear your mind and focus on your breathing while you walk.”

“It will be something new for me.”

“That’s good, isn’t it? I’ll time us.  (pause) Ready? Go.”

They walked in silence for fifteen minutes, and right before the timer went off, the Oracle said, “Gems from the past.”

“What do you mean?”

The Oracle didn’t respond.


“He’s still in a trance.”



“You said, Gems from the past.”

“I don’t remember.”

“Was it a message from the god Op-Pollo?”

“When I’m in the Temple of Op-Pollo, I speak the words of the great god. I don’t know whose words I speak when I’m doing walking meditation on a path through a forest.”

The Oracle spoke words he didn’t remember each time the timer was about to go off. Gerd wrote them down and read them when they stopped for lunch.

Gems from the past
disintegrating, clinging to rock
Gems from the past
turned to chalk, about to dissolve
signal for permanence.

They were sitting in a circle, and smoke began to rise from the middle of the circle. Gerd put his hand over it and said it wasn’t hot. He gently removed earth and dug up a rock covered in white. “What do you know. S1gN9L sending us a smoke signal.”

A rustling sound made them turn their attention to the tree beside them. They saw a pileated woodpecker making its way up. It stood on a branch, royally, before it flew away.

“Op-Maul,” whispered the Oracle.


Illustration from Thought-Forms by Annie Besant and C.W. Leadbeater, 1905

They arrived to Signal at night, but colours lit up the sky.

“What’s happening?”

“The ashram’s lightshow,” somebody replied.

They made their way through the crowd and reached the ashram.

“Welcome, welcome,” said the ashram man. He looked at Gerd carrying Signal. “I see you rescued permanence amidst impermanence. The greatest gift, isn’t it so? Come in, come in. Your rooms are ready and there is food on the table.”

They freshened up and came to eat, and told the ashram man about their journey.

He read the words that the Oracle had spoken in a trance. “Whose words are they?”

“Op-Hermes,” said the Oracle. “His words came easily.”

“The equivalent of Mercury.”

“Mercury’s always been my guide,” said Gerd.

“Mine too,” said Lotus.

“What’s troubling you, Oracle?” The ashram man touched his arm. “What is it?”

“I once made a promise to the Op-trinity that I would renounce everything if I couldn’t marry the woman I loved. I want to go back on my promise. Give love a second chance. Be an Oracle and a family man.

“When I realized that I was speaking the words of the god of travelers, I asked him to intervene on my behalf.

“We sat in a circle to have lunch, and when I saw smoke rising from the middle of the circle, I thought he was sending me a sign, giving me the go ahead. But then a rustling sound diverted our attention to a tree, and standing on a branch was Op-Maul’s sacred bird, and I got mixed up.”

“Did you feel he was warning you not to break your promise?”

“Or did it feel like approval, like he was giving you courage?”

“There are stories of rescue where Op-Hermes and Op-Maul work together, isn’t it so?”

“He’s in need of rescue, ashram man. We found him trying to jump into the abyss.”

“Keep the life force inside your body.”

“Here,” said Gerd, giving Signal to the Oracle. “You keep it.”


Right before the timer went off, the Oracle said, “Don’t take the path through the forest.”

“Why not?”

“His net might get caught in the trees.”

“Whose net?”

Haha! Haha!

“Oracle! Whose net!”

The Oracle woke up from his trance and couldn’t remember.

Haha! Haha!

“Look up! It’s- It’s- Is it a woodpecker?”

“It’s bigger than that! It’s getting bigger!”

“It’s coming closer!”

“Is that a butterfly net?”

“The god of war!”

“Look down! Look down! Remember Semele!”

They looked down and the god blocked the sun and swept them into his net.



“Pray! Somebody pray!”

“Oh, Op-Maul! Great god of war! I won’t break my promise!”

The god flew high up in the sky and swung the net, and they went flying.


“Wrong prayer!”

He caught them one by one in his net before they fell to the ground, and flew back up again.


“Cover your crown chakras everyone! Keep the life force in!”

The Oracle was holding on to the net with one hand and had Signal in the other, and he covered his crown chakra with Signal. “Oh, Op-Maul! Great god of war! Grant me permission to break my promise!”

The god of war swung the net gently back and forth, and they relaxed in the net, and then he swung hard and they went flying.

Haha! Haha!

He caught them one by one before they fell to the ground, and lay the net on the ground, and they crawled out and collapsed on their backs, and the god was gone.

All the men had erections.

“Life force,” said the Oracle, and the timer went off.


They took the path through the forest.

“This is the first time I didn’t feel ashamed to have an erection that showed.”

“Me too. I was thankful for it.”

“Me too, and it’s a big deal for me because I grew up in the valley of shame.”

“What valley of shame?”

“That’s what I call my valley. My first memories are of being shamed, by my parents, teachers, neighbours-  I grew up feeling ashamed. It’s made me the doctor I am. The first patient I ever had told me she had headaches because someone had given her the evil eye, and at that moment, I made a conscious choice to be humble. Thinking that I knew better could lead to arrogance, and there’s arrogance involved in shaming.”

“Did you order a CT scan?”

“Yes, and there was nothing physically wrong, but the headaches persisted. She came back to see me with her mom, and her mom asked if I could perform the ritual to cure her daughter of the evil eye. I told her that I didn’t know the ritual. I’ll teach you, she said, and she pulled out the ingredients from her bag.”

“A fresh chicken egg, a glass of water, and a pinch of salt,” said the Oracle, taking a pinch of Signal and sprinkling it on the ground.

The ground shook.

“What was that?”

“Felt like a tremor.”

“Oracle, are you in a trance?”


“How did you know the ingredients?”

“I know the ritual. The patient lies down and does what you would call lying-down-meditation. Then, with your right hand, you hold the egg above the first chakra, and you ask the chakra to release the evilness, and you ask the egg to absorb it. You visualize the egg absorbing the evilness and containing it in the yolk. Then you move to the second chakra and do the same, and then the third, and so on, until you reach the crown chakra. Next, you crack the egg inside the glass of water and add a pinch of salt. Salt neutralizes evilness,” he finished, taking another pinch of Signal and sprinkling it on the ground.

The ground shook harder and they all fell to the ground.

“It’s the sprinkling!”

“Don’t do it again, Oracle.”

“They don’t want us wasting it,” said the Oracle, setting Signal on the ground.

“Look, it changed shape.”

“It looks like an Op-Shiva linga.”

“What’s an Op-Shiva linga?”

“A symbol of the god.”

“A pillar of fire. The god was born from a pillar of fire.”

“It looks like a phallus.”

“That’s because it’s missing its third eye. The god rules the third eye chakra.”

“Op-Maul rules the root chakra, and Signal probably changed shape in Op-Maul’s butterfly net.”

“But if you give it a third eye, it belongs to Op-Shiva.”

“If it belongs to Op-Shiva, it also needs Yin, a receptacle of water to hold it.”

“Fire and water make smoke.”

“It was smoking when we found it.”

“It represents our limits.”

“What limits?”

“Root chakra to third eye chakra.”

“Remember you said Signal could have properties we didn’t know about?”

“Yes,” said Lotus. “Now we know it’s Yang.”


Shiva Linga by Ramakrishna Nimmaraju

“Did the egg ritual cure your patient?”

“It did. After the ritual, we drove to a field. The mom instructed me to hold the glass and throw the contents behind me, then walk to the car without looking back. When I got inside the car, I read relief on her daughter’s face. It was the first time I saw her smile.”

“It’s almost time to meditate.”

The Oracle picked up Signal and they continued walking.

“When the pilgrimage is over, I will only meditate at sunrise and sunset,” he said.

“I never thought of this as a pilgrimage, but it is, isn’t it?”

“It’s not the Valley of Signal that opens chakras. It’s the pilgrimage to Signal.”

“We’ll have to tell our patients.”

“My boss says the ashram man is sorry he missed us.”

“That’s weird.”

“She says he had an emergency on the morning of the day we were arriving. He hopes people at the ashram made us feel comfortable.”

They stopped walking.

“So who was he?”

“What are the trees doing?”

“They’re- They’re kneeling down.”

“They’re answering your question.”

“Op-Shiva,” whispered the Oracle.

They knelt down too.


“You know what I think?”


“Alphecca is right here.”

They waited for the trees to rise so they could rise and meditate, but the trees stayed kneeling down.

“Let’s do sitting meditation this time. Ready?”

They sat cross legged. “Ready.”

Fifteen minutes later, the timer went off.


“He’s still in a trance.”

“He didn’t say a word.”

“Look at him, he’s frowning.”

“Look at the trees, they’re lying down.”

“Too much Yin.”

“I sense danger.”

The Oracle opened his eyes and said, “Taki taki.”

“What’s Taki taki?”

“I think it’s a dance.”

“We need to dance! Pick up sticks and make a beat and dance!”

“Taki taki! Taki taki!”


“Keep going! The trees are beginning to stand!”

“Look at Signal!”

The Oracle had left Signal on the ground and it was smoking.

“Yin Yang!”

When they had cover again, they rested.

“She was a dancer,” said Lotus.

“Who?” Gerd asked her, coming to sit beside her.

“Ariadne. Daedalus made her a dancing floor in the open air, a labyrinth. Folded paths that kept her moving until she reached the centre, and folded paths that kept her moving until she reached outside. Mistress of the Labyrinth.”

“Problem solver.”

“She gave Theseus a clew.”


“Do you think the centre is the root or the crown?”

“I thinks it’s both. The seat of emotions that can undo us, and the seat of emotions that can transform us.


Labyrinth by Swietlan Nicholas Kraczyna

“Makes sense. All the chakras run along the spine.”

“A continuum.”

“I keep thinking of the staff of Asclepius. Don’t you?”

“The pilgrimage has added meaning to it.”

“Soon as we get back, I’m getting that Kundalini poster.”

“Stop, everyone. We’re almost out of the forest, a bridge away.”

“What do you want to do?”

“I’m not meditating.”

“Think of something else.”

“Make a wish and hold your breath until we’re out.”

“So if I hold my breath, my wish will come true?”

“I hope so, Oracle. Ready?”


“Make a wish.”

They ran out of the forest, and ran into the Attendant to the Temple of Op-Pollo.

“Did he put some sense into you?”

“Yes,” said the Oracle, out of breath.

The Attendant asked Gerd if he still wanted an oracle, and Gerd said he did, so they walked to the temple.

“I see you found some S1gN9L.”

“You know it?”


Pythia by Jacek Malczewski, 1917

“It lies beneath the earth where the tripod stool rests. It only smokes when the Oracle falls into a trance.”

“To protect him.”

“Yes. There are also rituals that the Oracle performs before his encounter with the great god for protection.”

The Oracle gave Signal to Gerd and went to a side room in the temple to perform the rituals.

They waited with the Attendant.

“Op-Hermes guided us to this rock,” said Gerd, holding Signal out. “It was first a symbol of Op-Pollo, then Op-Maul, then Op-Shiva, and now we’re back to Op-Pollo.”

“The three gods were joined in the beginning,” said the Attendant.

“What separated them?”

“They fell in love. One pulled in one direction, and the other pulled in another direction, and the third in a different direction. They had to be separated, but they still work together.”

The Oracle returned and took his seat.

“What is your question, Gerd?” the Attendant asked.

“Do I have to say it out loud?”

“You can whisper it to me and I will whisper it to him.”

The Oracle fell into a trance and smoke rose from the ground, and the Attendant whispered Gerd’s question to him.

The Oracle was silent for a moment and then began to speak.

“Rolling the sign may very well be that the chance of a choice that is delivered and absorbed lies before you to be relayed.”

He spoke and fell asleep, and the Attendant ushered everyone to a different side of the temple. “I will attend to the Oracle and be back.”

“What did you ask, Gerd?”

Gerd didn’t answer. He’d written down the Oracle’s words and was trying to decipher them.

“This is a good time to ask the Mistress of the Labyrinth for help,” said Lotus.

“Help me, Ariadne,” Gerd whispered.

“Strange, isn’t it? Op-Hermes was so clear-“

“Op-Shiva was pretty clear too-“

“Even Op-Maul was clear. Haha!”

“But Op-Pollo didn’t make any sense-“

“Shh. I’m being guided to find the centre,” said Gerd.

“What’s the centre?”

“A choice.”

The Attendant came back. “Would you like me to translate Op-Pollo’s words?”

“Go ahead,” said Gerd.

“The choice is yours. You will make it when a hand extends a letter.”

“I’m still in the dark.”

“That’s because we don’t know the question.”

The Oracle joined them. “I have good news.”

They all stood around him. “How are you feeling?”

“Excellent. I have accepted the Attendant’s offer to live in the Oracle House.”

“That is good news.”

They left the temple and there were crows everywhere.

“Op-Pollo’s birds.”

“Before I give Signal back to you, I’m going to take a pinch,” said Gerd.

“Don’t let it drop!”

“Do you have somewhere to put it?”

“Here,” said Lotus. “I have an envelope.”

Gerd put a pinch in the envelope. “A bit of permanence amidst impermanence.”


“No way!”

“Take cover!”


“The temple!”

They ran back to the temple, but before they could go inside the doors, a net swept them up.

Haha! Haha!

“Oracle! Do something!”

“Too much for me, Gerd! Your turn!”

“Oh, Op-Maul! Mighty warrior!”

Op-Maul didn’t throw them up in the air this time. He threw them into another net.

“He’s holding two nets! One in each hand!”

“Look down! Look down!”

“Look at his feet! What’s he doing!”

They looked at Op-Maul’s feet through the net.

“He’s dancing!”

“Oh, Op-Maul! Great dancer in the sky!”

The god threw them into the other net.

“Is it the Taki taki?”

“It’s my version!” cried Lotus.

“What do you mean it’s your version!”

“The one I choreographed to get into dance school!”

“Did you get in!”

“Yes! I got the letter before we left! Gerd, where’s the envelope!”

“In my pocket! Are you going!”


“Why not!”

“I don’t want to leave the valley! The bookstore! And- you guys!”

“You mean, me! You don’t want to leave me!”

Haha! Haha!

The god danced Lotus’ version of the Taki taki until Op-Pollo’s birds surrounded him and made him bring them back down.


They crawled out of the net and collapsed in front of the temple.

“Is the letter in the envelope?” Gerd asked Lotus.

“No. I was just checking to make sure you had it safe.”

“Where is it?”

“In my pocket,” she said, taking it out and giving it to him.

He read it. “It’s only for a short while. I’ll take a leave of absence and come with you.”

“Where’s the school?”

“In Naxos.”


Gravity by John Greer, 1998

“She thought that she would go from a palace in Crete to a palace in Athens. Instead, he left her in a place in between.”



Sleeping Wills by John Greer, 1996

“The shock.”

“The shame.”

“Why shame?”

“There were all those emotions that she couldn’t talk about, right? Her infatuation and guilt, and then he deceived her and abandoned her. Ultimately, it must have been shame that uncoiled the snake.”

“What about disbelief, rage and despair? What if the island was deserted and he left her there to die!”

“A cauldron of emotions.”

“We’ll understand it better when we stand on the shores of Naxos.”

“You’re coming too?”

“Sure, I’ll come visit.”

“Me too.”

“We’ll take turns.”

“Is there a temple of Dionysus?”

“The ruins of his temple.”

“We should bring the Oracle along. Maybe he’ll speak the words of Dionysus.”

“In that case, we’ll go together, over a long weekend.”


“Thank you, Dimitra.”

“You’re welcome.”

“Where do you think his statue was?” the Oracle asked her.

“Probably where you’re standing.”

The Oracle sat where he was.

“Is that where you’ll meditate?”


“Mind if I join you?”

“Not at all. Please,” he said, patting the ground beside him.

“He may speak through me and not through you,” she laughed.

“What about us?” Gerd asked.

“We’ll go around the temple. Grab a tambourine.”

“Can you pass me the flute?”

They had practiced before the tour.


“Wait,” said the Oracle. “What is the question for the great Dionysus?”

“Does he believe in chakras.”





Maenads by John Collier, 1886

They went around the temple twice, and saw Dimitra rise, and they stopped in front of her, still playing their instruments.

The Oracle opened his eyes and watched her.

She moved one hand like it was the head of a snake, and then the other, and she took her cover-up off and began to dance.


Smoke began to rise from the ground and to envelop her, and suddenly, she faltered. The Oracle stood up to steady her, and they all put their instruments down and came to encircle her.

Lotus touched her cheek. “Dimitra?”

“I’m here,” she answered.

“Do you remember dancing?”

“He took possession of my body,” she said. “I’ve never danced like that before.”

“Do you need to rest?”

“No. I want to go bathe in the sea.”

They went with her.

“I guess he believes in chakras,” she said.

“I guess so. You have to picture a coiled snake in the root chakra-“

“He had you dancing a snake dance, uncoiling the snake to open the other chakras.”

“Except the crown chakra. It’s dangerous up there.”

“Besides being the god of wine, he’s the god of theatre. Married to a dancer.  (pause) Here we are. This is where I usually come. I always think of Ariadne when I’m here. I see her standing there, princess of Crete.

“Her oldest brother was killed in Athens. To prevent war with Crete, Athens sent a tribute of fourteen young people to be fed to the Minotaur every year.

“Theseus was prince of Athens. When he was old enough and strong enough, he went as tribute with the intention of killing the Minotaur. He couldn’t have done it without Ariadne’s help. He promised to take her away and marry her, but instead, left her here.”

“A spoil of war.”


Ariadne by Arthur Streeton, 1895

“We should join Dimitra in the water,” said the Oracle. “It’s good to bathe in salt water.”

They joined her and then lay on the sand to dry.

“She must have prayed to the gods for help.”

“She wished she had libations to offer them, wine to pour for them, but she had nothing.”

“She would dance for them instead.”

“She looked for a stick and began to draw a labyrinth in the sand.”

“As she drew it, she choreographed her dance.”

“The sun was beginning to set when she finished. She put the stick down and began to dance, and she sang her story to the gods.”

“When she reached the centre, Dionysus appeared in a chariot drawn by tigers.”

Gerd took Lotus’ hand. “Let’s get married in his temple.”

“If you’re going to get married in Naxos, you better do it before we leave.”

“We leave tomorrow.”

“Dimitra, do you know someone who could marry us?”

“Let me ask.”

She found someone who could marry them that night.

They left the beach in a hurry to prepare, and that night, they went back to the temple.

Dimitra brought lamps to light the temple grounds, and the Oracle brought a bottle of wine. He made an offering of wine to the god Dionysus, and asked him to bless the groom and bride.

The groom and bride exchanged rings, and then it was time to sign the marriage certificate.

“Gerd, did you bring your pinch of Signal?”

Gerd took the envelope out of his pocket.

“Okay. Pour it into this bottle of ink. Wait. Let me take the lid off.”

Gerd poured it into the bottle, saying the words,

Gems from the past
disintegrating, clinging to rock
Gems from the past
turned to chalk, about to dissolve
signal for permanence.

“Here’s the quill pen.”

Gerd and Lotus signed, and they all witnessed it.


Dionysus and Ariadne, sculptor unknown, Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire, England

“I find it strange that the sculptor is unknown.”

“Legend says it fell from the sky,” said the tour guide.

“Pity it didn’t fall on Naxos.”

“It actually did. It fell from the sky on the island of Naxos. I didn’t know this until yesterday. A tourist from Naxos told me. The Temple of Dionysus was built where the statue fell.”

“I’m a tour guide from Naxos and I never heard of the legend.  (touching the statue) This can’t be the original one.”

“The original one was probably a quarter its size and made of a golden metal. It stood on a tall pedestal inside the temple.

“Is there an account of it? A reference you could give me?”

“Just what the tourist told me. But you can check with the Manor’s archives.” He pointed at a building, “The building over there houses them.”

“Someone asked me about the same statue yesterday,” said the head archivist. “We spent hours looking for information on it, and all we found was this.”

She opened a box and took out a single page, and Dimitra read it.

‘I came across a golden sculpture of Dionysus and Ariadne in an ashram in the Valley of Signal. I was there on a meditation and yoga retreat.

The sculpture wasn’t on display. I came across it by accident. I thought I was opening the door to my room, and instead opened the door to the sculpture’s room. It drew me in. When I touched it, I had a vision. I saw it falling from the sky.

I sensed a presence behind me and turned around. It was the ashram man, the guru. He told me that he acquired the sculpture at an auction.

I asked him if he would allow me to make a mold of the sculpture. He knew I worked with metal and marble, and that I was a sculptor of some renown, but he was hesitant. Nobody knew what the sculpture was made of, what the golden metal was, and he was worried it would get damaged. I kept assuring him that my technique would not damage it, and he finally relented.

If he hadn’t, I may have stolen it. Such was the attraction I felt for it.

I made a mold of the sculpture in the guru’s presence, and we spoke about Dionysus. He said Dionysus went as far as India in his travels, and although he was Greek, his travels made him a foreigner on Greek soil. He brought a foreign worship to the land. It wasn’t the usual prayer and sacrifice at the altar. There was a physicality to it, a surrender that was liberating, but also dangerous.

He told me he’d given a radio interview once that he was now ashamed of. He’d spoken of Ariadne abandoned by Theseus on Naxos. He’d dismissed Dionysus’ arrival as trivial, as a fairytale ending. He’d told his listeners that Ariadne should have meditated to connect with something higher than herself, as if Dionysus were not a god. He had not thought of him as a god until after he acquired the sculpture.

Back in my workshop, I used the cast to make a model of the sculpture, but it wasn’t enough to get it out of my system. So I sculpted a likeness on a block of marble and made it life size. It is my labour and my skill, but not my creation, and so it is signed, Sculptor unknown.’

Dimitra was speechless. She read the name tag on the head archivist’s lanyard. “What do you think, Catherine?”

“Dionysus punished those who did not acknowledge his divinity. In the best case scenario, he turned them into dolphins. In the worst case scenario, he had them torn apart by maenads in ecstatic frenzy. I’d like to ask the guru if anything happened to him after the interview.”

Dimitra scrutinized the page.

“What are you looking for?”

“A clue that will lead me to the sculptor.”

“Valley of Signal is your clue.”

The tour guide walked in. “Found anything?”

Dimitra gave him the page and he read it. “Naxos should buy the golden sculpture from the guru and bring it back to the island. You could go to Signal on a diplomatic mission.”

“For that, I would need proof that the sculpture was taken from Naxos.”

“If you don’t have proof, you could steal it,” said Catherine.


Pentheus being torn by maenads. Roman fresco, Casa dei Vettii, Pompeii

They went out for dinner.

“Apollo’s father is also Jupiter. They’re brothers.”

“But nobody ever questions Apollo’s divinity.”

“No. He’s too regal.”

“A commanding force.”

“Dionysus is a recruiting force.”

“He doesn’t go hunting like his brother. He captures animals alive and has a menagerie of wild animals.”

“Nietzsche said that Apollo is mind and order, and Dionysus is passion and chaos, and life needs both.”

“I met the Oracle of Op-Pollo in Naxos.”

“Op-Pollo is like Apollo, but more Saturnian. He doesn’t command or recruit. He states the law.”

“Are you in touch with him?”


“The Oracle.”

“It’s been a while. Why?”

“Because the Temple of Op-Pollo is in Embrun, and Embrun isn’t far from the Valley of Signal.”

They ordered dessert, and Dimitra told them about the Oracle, Lotus and Gerd, and the others. She told them about the snake dance and the marriage in the Temple of Dionysus.

“Are Lotus and Gerd still there?”

“No. They left a few months ago.”

“You should get in touch with them. Update them on your find.”

“When do you fly back?”

“Day after tomorrow.”

“Good. It gives me a day to call the archives in Naxos to give us access.”


Dimitra dropped Catherine off at the archives, and Leonid, the tour guide, at the library, and she went to see her old professor, Aristides. He’d heard about the legend.

“It was on a pedestal inside the temple, but always seemed to make its way outside at night. The priestess knew where to find it. She would look for a column covered in vines, a different one each time, and that’s where it would be, at the top of the column, entangled in the vines.

“People came to watch the priestess’ morning ritual. She would climb up the column, reach for the sculpture, and put it back on the pedestal. She said it was how Dionysus reminded us to look up at the woman he loves. His crown.”

“How beautiful,” said Dimitra.

“You like it,” said Aristides, reaching for a storybook. “I wrote it for my grandchildren, based on the legend.”

Dimitra opened the book and looked at the illustrations. The sculpture entangled in the vines was the same one she’d seen at the Manor, but smaller and golden.

“Who did the illustrations?”

“John Greer. He’s a sculptor and illustrator from New Age Valley. He believes the legend is true.”

“You met him?”

“He stayed with me when he came to Naxos. He was surprised to see how alive the worship of Dionysus is. He saw people playing music and dancing at the temple, a snake dance, it seems.”

Dimitra blushed. She thanked her professor and went to the archives. As she was going up the steps, Leonid joined her. He was carrying the professor’s storybook.

“Look what I found,” he said.

Before they reached the door, Catherine stepped outside.

“Nothing concrete. In the early 1800s, a private collector left the island to settle back in London. He took his collection with him and there’s a record of the items he shipped, but the ink is fading. I made a high-contrast photocopy.”

Leonid took it from her and sat on the steps. “Do you have a magnifying glass?”

She gave him one.

“This could be it,” he said, pointing at one of the items. “Bronze figure. Dionysus. The rest is gone.”

“Are there any members of his family still on the island?”

“He was British. Sir Greer.”

Leonid gave Catherine the storybook. “Check out the illustrator.”

“Lotus just wrote me,” said Dimitra. “She’s about to have a baby. She says the ashram can take three guests this week. She recommends that we fly directly to Signal. The Oracle can meet us there and bring us to New Age Valley. It’s where she lives.  (pause) It’s also where the unknown sculptor lives.”


The Triumph of Dionysus. On the left, Dionysus rides a chariot pulled by panthers. Preceding him are his followers and his menagerie of exotic animals.  Roman, ca. 190 CE.

The ashram man was giving a lecture to his guests and answering questions.

“I prefer the word ‘dispossessed’ over the word ‘detachment,’ ” said the ashram man. “Not being possessed by the things you carry, by your money, your home, your relationships, your god, your religion, your philosophies. This is why we sit with our eyes closed, practicing being thoughtless, emptying the mind. To become dispossessed is key to a spiritual life.”

Catherine raised her hand. This was the opportunity she’d been waiting for.

The ashram man’s attendant pointed at her.

“Ashram man, some time ago, a guest came across a sculpture of Dionysus and Ariadne here, in your ashram. We believe the sculpture belongs to the island of Naxos, where Dionysus met Ariadne. Legend says the sculpture fell from the sky on the island, and people built a temple to the god where it fell. Would you be willing to return the sculpture to Naxos? In the spirit of dispossession?”


“When I first saw the sculpture,” said the ashram man, “I had to have it. I know what it is to be possessed. I went against my spiritual practice and bid for the sculpture until it was mine.  (pause) Dionysus.  (pause) Dionysus,” he said, shaking his head. “Reminding me that I am the mortal and he the immortal, god of Olympus. Punishing me for forgetting my place.

“Let’s bring the sculpture to the courtyard,” he finished.


He would gift the sculpture to Naxos, but before that, John Greer was flown in.

“What do you want it made of?”

“It’s going to stand here, in the courtyard. What do you suggest?”

“Bronze or cast iron-“

“Something heavy and secured to the pedestal. We want to make sure it stays in one place.”

“Why? Does it move around?”

“Catherine gave me the storybook you illustrated.”

“John, was there a private collector in your family? Someone who lived in Naxos?” Catherine asked. She showed him the photocopy from the archives.

“Do you have-“

She gave him a magnifying glass and he sat down to study the page.

“Sir John Greer,” he read. “Bronze. Dionysus. The rest has faded.”

“That’s why I brought this,” said the Oracle, showing them a bottle of ink. “It has a pinch of Signal and Signal makes the ink permanent. I thought the guru should write the letter to the people of Naxos with it, but I forgot the quill pen.”

“We’ll pluck it from a bird,” said Catherine. “I heard a rooster this morning.”

“I heard a woodpecker,” said Leonid.

The Oracle’s eyes widened. “I wouldn’t pluck a feather from a woodpecker if I were you.”

“There’s a feather on the ground,” said Dimitra.

“A crow feather,” said John, picking it up. “I’ll give it a nib.”

“But I won’t be the one writing the letter,” said the ashram man. “You will, John. I’m giving the sculpture to you.”

“I don’t understand.”

“It would ruin my reputation to give the sculpture to the people of Naxos. A guru has no business buying antiquities. A guru does good works, and I depend on the money of donors to do my good works, you see.  (pause) I’ve been reading Nietzsche lately-“

“The contrast between Apollo and Dionysus?” Leonid asked.


“They need each other.”

“They do. I’m going to resolve my Dionysian intoxication with the sculpture in an Apollonian way. With prudence.”

“But you bought the sculpture. What about the paper trail?”

“An anonymous buyer bought the sculpture. John’s making it for me, just in case my identity is revealed. If it is, I’ll figure out what to say.”

“You could say that you bought it because it signifies the crown chakra,” said Dimitra. “When Theseus abandoned Ariadne in Naxos, her crown chakra opened and she met Dionysus. A friend of mine believes that pent-up emotions in the root chakra can burst through the crown chakra.”

“I’d like to meet your friend.”

“What about this sculpture?” asked John. He touched it and had the same vision he had before. “The one that fell from the sky.”

“It’s been in your family since the 1800s, John,” said the ashram man. “After illustrating Aristides’ book, you decided to give it back to Naxos.”


A man making a choice between Apollo and Dionysus by Leonid Ilyukhin

“There’s a letter I wrote in Waddesdon Manor that could be incriminating,” John remembered.

“I’ll burn it,” said Catherine.

“Okay.  (pause) I’ll make the copy of the sculpture here, then I’ll take the original one to New Age and begin the process of returning it from there.”

“When will you fly to New Age?”

“The only way to get there from Signal is on foot.”

“But you flew here.”

“I was in Rome.”

“No wonder Lotus kept telling us to pack light,” said Dimitra. “We have to walk there!”

“Is she the friend you spoke about?” the ashram man asked.

“Yes. She just had a baby.”

“I was supposed to meet her and a whole group coming to Signal. But I was busy bidding for the sculpture.”

“John, how long will you take to make the copy?”

“A fortnight.”

“I leave tomorrow,” said the Oracle.

“We’re coming with you,” said Catherine. “Our flight leaves from New Age. Will you join us, guru?”

“As long as the Oracle can accompany me back.”

The Oracle said he would accompany him back, and they all went inside to write the letter to the people of Naxos with his bottle of ink.


Dionysus flanked by Helios (some say Apollo) and Aphrodite, wall painting, Pompeii

“He brings down defences for love to happen.”

“He made it possible for Hera and Hephaestus to reconcile.”

“What was the problem?”

“Hera gave birth to Hephaestus, god of the forge, a lame god. She couldn’t stand his imperfection, so she threw him out of Olympus. When Hephaestus perfected his craft, he sent her the most beautiful golden chair. The moment she sat on it, it imprisoned her.

“None of the gods could get Hephaestus to come to Olympus to release her, except Dionysus. Dionysus gave Hephaestus wine to drink and brought him to Olympus riding a donkey. There was laughter and mockery, but at the same time, Hephaestus released his mother and they reconciled, and he occupied his rightful place in Olympus.”

“He must have made the sculpture.”

“A wedding gift.”

“Nietzsche said that both Apollo and Dionysus are essential for the creation of art. He said that the unbridled passion of Dionysus can become a destructive force, a monstrous force, and it needs Apollo to ground it in discipline. It needs Apollo to control the passion and give it shape.”

“Sounds to me like he was talking about Op-Pollo,” said the Oracle.

“Yes, Op-Pollo from the Op-Trinity.  (pause) What’s the name of his brother? The one who’s always wrecking havoc.”

“It’s on the tip of my tongue-“

“Shh! I’ll tell you once we reach the path in the forest,” whispered the Oracle.


Haha! Haha!


“Is it-“

“You evoked him!”

“We have to run to the path over there! The trees will give us cover!”

The guru looked where the Oracle was pointing and saw flashing lights, red lights and blue lights.

“They’ve come for me,” he said and sat on the ground.   

“Oracle! I’m staying behind with the guru!”

They all ran back and sat with the guru.

The guru took his shoes off, crossed his legs, and positioned his left heel so that it touched his root chakra. “Do as I do,” he said. “It’s good geometry. It aligns the physical body with the cosmos, brings balance. It clears the mind so that we don’t judge or take sides. The god of war is flying above us and that’s not good or bad-


“There are flashing lights in the distance and that’s not good or bad. It simply is.”

“If neither is good or bad, we should continue on our way,” said Catherine. “Come what may.”

“Yes,” said the guru. “I’m just getting into the right frame of mind for it.”

“You think one of the guests who heard you talk about the sculpture told your donors?” Dimitra asked.

“I’m sorry I cornered you in public,” Catherine apologized.

The guru didn’t answer. He was in deep meditation.


Siddhasana by Magdalena Gedroyc

at entrance to the forest

two police officers leaning on the hood of a cruiser

“I’ve taken up meditation.”

“It’s good for you, isn’t it?”

“I want to levitate.”

“You mean, rise off the ground?”


“What for?”

shrugs his shoulders   “A challenge.”


“I’m going to ask the guru from Signal to give me some pointers. The ashram announced he’s going to New Age today.”

“Is that why we’re here?”

“We’re here because we saw something suspicious.”

“Show me how you meditate.”

sits on the ground   “If you sit cross legged and touch the root chakra- The root chakra’s here, in the perineum. If you touch it with your left heel, it aligns you with the cosmos, but it grounds you-“

“Achilles should have done that.”

“So what you want to do is sit cross legged and place your heels on top of the thighs.  (struggling) Very hard to do.”

Someone approached them.   “You shouldn’t force it. Begin by touching the soles of your feet to your inner thighs. Meditate in that position until your body gets used to it and becomes more flexible.”

“Who are you?”

“Ambrogino. Firefighter.”

Three more firefighters appeared.

“Why are you here?”

“Hot air balloon in distress heading in this direction.”

Two paramedics appeared.

“Are you practising Hatha Yoga?”

“He wants to levitate.”

“You have to be careful with Hatha.”

“It should be done gradually or you could get hurt. You could even die.”


“Because you distance yourself from your genetic makeup to re-shape your body. You have to put your parentage aside to draw from the sun and the moon, the original father and mother. Ha means sun and Tha means moon.”

“All I want, really, is to meditate and levitate.”

“Who’s your guru?”

“Don’t have one yet.”

“There’s one in Signal.”

“Are you here because of the hot air balloon?”

“Yes. We should keep an eye on the sky.”

“Why are you officers here?”

crackle from a radio   “Anything suspicious?’

police officer talks into the radio   “Hot air balloon in distress heading this way.”

“Okay. Stand by.”


“What if it has nothing to do with the guru?” Dimitra asked. “What if someone called about the giant woodpecker in the sky?”

“I don’t think they’d be taken seriously.”

“But what if they rationalized what they saw? If giant woodpeckers don’t exist, what could it be?”

“A hot air balloon?”

“Someone could have called about a hot air balloon out of control.”

“More lights,” said Dimitra, looking into the distance. “Fire truck.  (pause) Ambulance.  (pause) What are those? Smaller than the others.”

“Probably By-law.”

“By-law’s telling everyone to move away from the entrance to the forest.”

“How do you know?”

“The lights are dispersing.”

They watched the lights disperse in silence, and suddenly it wasn’t quiet anymore. Cries from above made them look up. There was a hot air balloon coming down.

They sprang up. “Guru! Wake up!”

The guru wouldn’t wake up.

The Oracle tried to lift him, but the guru was in cosmic alignment and in Siddhasana and could not be lifted.

“What do we do! He’ll get crushed!”

“Move out of the way!” they heard someone shout.

They looked up and saw a police officer running toward them. “Move out of the way!”

“We can’t lift the guru!”

The police officer reached them and recognized the pose the guru was in. He moved the guru’s heel away from the root chakra, carried him across his shoulders, and they all moved out of the way.

Cries from the hot air balloon grew louder in anticipation of the crash landing, but right before the balloon hit the ground, a hand larger than life gave the basket a push. The balloon went flying straight toward the path in the forest. It got caught in the trees and the basket was suspended in the air. There was a huff huff puffing sound, and the burners that had malfunctioned came to life.

Ambrogino signalled to his fellow firefighters. “Get the ladders and the nitrogen.”

They put the fire out and brought the passengers down, and the paramedics set to work. They checked for injuries and genetic memory. What’s your name, what’s your father’s name, what’s your mother’s name.


The passengers were all doctors from a clinic in New Age.




“The balloon ride was our Father’s Day gift to Gerd.  (pause) Did you see-“

“We saw.”

“He saved us.”


Devotion by Kamal Rao

The police officer and the guru walked together.

“Thank you for saving my life,” said the guru. “While you carried me, I dreamt that I was levitating.”

“I was going to ask you for pointers on levitation.”

The guru lifted the police officer and carried him across his shoulders. “But you’re the one who gave them to me.”

“Where’s the By-law officer who made us clear the entrance to the forest? Saved our lives!”

“How did they even know the balloon would end up there?”

“Was it you?”

“It wasn’t me.”

“Was it you?”

“No. I don’t know who it was.”

“What are you guys doing here anyway?”

“We were curious to know what you guys were doing here.”

“Op-Hermes,” whispered the Oracle.


Mercury delivers baby Dionysus to the Nymphs of Nysa by Jacques François Courtin, 1700

Chart for Teresa of Avila, born 28 March 1515 (Julian calendar), birth data from autobiography

She became a popular nun because of her raptures. They say that she levitated when she was in rapture.

It all began in 1555, when transiting Uranus in Libra, in her eighth house, opposed her natal Uranus in Aries. She had a vision. A seraph drove a spear with a flaming gold tip into her heart. A mystical experience that she would write about.

She was encouraged to write and guide others on their path to god.

She wrote about the four stages of prayer, prayer that could begin with interruptions, worldly distractions, and culminated in the full absorption of god, intoxication, devotion of ecstasy.

In 1555, transiting Uranus was conjunct transiting Jupiter in Scorpio in her ninth house.

There is Dionysus in Jupiter.


Chart for 28 March 1555, Avila, Spain

Her mother died when she was eleven, when her progressed Sun was at 26 degrees Taurus, conjunct her natal Uranus.

Uranus in her chart is in a trine to Pluto and her MC in Sag. This was the beginning of the work she would do, break something down in Sag to create it anew in Aries, after her Uranus opposition Uranus.

When her mother died, her father sent her to the Augustine nuns’ school in Avila. She would then join the Carmelite convent.

They say she had a zeal for mortification.

Black Moon Lilith is in her first house. The Black Moon is a point in the chart. It tells us where the Moon would be farthest from the earth on any given day. On the day she was born, the farthest point was in Pisces.

The Black Moon can carry hurt. It can carry shame. A place of hurt and shame that fell in her first house. She may have felt ashamed of her body, or made to feel ashamed of it in the religious setting she grew up.

She may have tried to overcome the shame with mortification.

The Black Moon is in the place of her MC conjunct Venus R. Venus of the underworld in Pisces can carry out labours, like Psyche carried out labours to get Eros back.

Venus of the underworld in Pisces can hand out labours too, like Venus handed them out to Psyche. Teresa of Avila would hand out labours, but that would come later, post 1555. First she laboured with her body to reach god, practising mortification, asceticism, prayer and Christian meditation. Until the day god touched her.

A Uranus opposition Uranus can bring breakthroughs. The realization of  ‘now or never.’ The midlife crisis.

A Uranus opposition Uranus Jupiter can add a Dionysian element to the breakthrough, the feeling of being born again.

Her vision became her asset. She grew popular, a celebrity. People came to the convent seeking her advice.

She was encouraged to write, pen it down,

stay grounded,


Her natal Mercury in Aries is conjunct her Sun, in a sextile to Mars Jupiter in Gemini in the fourth house,

with Mars applying.

The will to live strong,

stronger than the search for more,

more visions.

Mars lies across Saturn retrograding in Sag, bringing discipline. She would embark on reforming the Carmelite order, bring in stricter monastic rules, prescribe flagellation and discalceation.

They say that nine months after she died, her coffin was opened and her body was intact, until they cut a hand for Lisbon, a finger for Paris, a foot for Rome, the heart for Alba de Tormes.


Teresa of Avila by Peter Paul Rubens, 1615

Chart for Bob Dylan, born 24 May 1941, Duluth, data from birth record

He didn’t want to sing popular songs. Folk music said things he’d always felt about life and people, institutions and ideology. Folk music uncovered it all for him. He found what he needed there.

He worked with folk musicians in Taurus in his sixth house. He worked with the voice he had, wrote his own lyrics and played the harmonica, the most modest of instruments.

His Black Moon and his natal Moon are in this house. A natal Moon almost at the farthest point it could be from earth, conjunct Saturn.

Hurt and shame. Emotions brought under control and turned into music.

There is lineage in Taurus, and he tells of his grandparents emigrating from Odessa to the United States, following the pogroms against Jews of 1905.

There is lineage in Taurus, yet he changed his last name from Zimmerman to Dylan.

Someone here suggests that he may have changed it to avoid bigotry.


His music was folk based, but he went on to incorporate other genres into folk. Rock, country, blues, and in 1979, he incorporated gospel.

It all began on November 17, 1978, when he was giving a concert and not feeling so well, and somebody in the audience threw something at him.

It was a small silver cross.

He picked it up.


Chart for  17 November 1978, San Diego

Transiting Uranus was in Scorpio in his twelfth house.

It was the beginning of his Uranus opposition Uranus, with his natal Jupiter involved.

Dylan says that in late 1978, after he picked up the cross, he received a vision and a feeling. Jesus put his hand on him and his whole body trembled.

His girlfriend at the time was Mary Alice Artres. She and others in his band were born-again Christians, members of the Vineyard Fellowship. They encouraged him to attend a bible study course.

He was baptised.

In the first months of 1979, he began to write songs inspired by his bible study and new-found Christian faith.

A new-found clan to heal the hurt and shame.

His Gospel Tour began on November 1, 1979, with transiting Uranus at 20 degrees Scorpio.


People close to him describe him as a seeker. There are seekers in Sag, prophets too.