A Readers’ Question: Foodpoisoning?

Recently a reader of Altair Astrology approached me with a question that had puzzled him. As it is a health question, I must add a disclaimer that the presentation of this chart is for entertainment purposes only, and that I make no pretence of understanding medicine as it is practised today. With that said, let as look at the question and at the charts. There are two charts, as this person uses the whole sign house system for horary questions, should there be any discussion in that line. Both charts more or less show the same situation and I will concentrate on the 1st chart. I would like to remark that it puzzles me why anyone should exclusively use whole signs. Why limit oneself to only one tool when there are also others available?

He had been asked by someone who had been feeling sick in the last two or three days whether she could have had food-poisoning. At the time of the question she felt better. His question was whether there is an astrological connection between eating and any house or planet.

Let us look at the charts first:

Foodpoisoning, Regiomontanus houses

Chart 1: Foodpoisoning?, Regiomontanus houses

Foodpoisoning, whole sign

Chart 2: Foodpoisoning, whole sign

Now one of the first things to look at in any health question is whether or not the person is healthy. This is shown by the condition of the Lord of the Ascendant. In this chart L1 is Saturn. Saturn a cold and dry sign is quite cosy in Virgo a cold and dry sign. So although peregrine in the 8th house of chart 1 (cadent in the 9th in chart 2). The querant is healthy and this is supported moreover by the North Node in the first house (both charts) and close to the ascendant. So the answer is no, it wasn’t food-poisoning, just a minor disturbance in the digestion. If we look at the Moon’s motion, we see that there was a recent contact with Mercury, Lord 6 (both charts). Now this was a sextile, and so one might think, “hey, isn’t a sextile a good aspect?” Well, yes it is, which means that all is not as bad as it seemed. The Moon however provides us not only the timing (recent focus on health) but also reveals something of the querant’s perception of the situation. The Moon is peregrine and in Saturn’s detriment, her antiscion is very close to Algol and she receives Saturn from the 8th house (in chart 2 she is in the 8th house and receives Saturn from the 9th), so the perception of the discomfort has a more grim quality. After all the querant could have asked, “what is wrong with me?” Instead she immediately asked about food-poisoning. If we look at the reception between L1 and L6 we see that there is very strong reception. Saturn is in Mercury’s domicile, exaltation and face. Mercury is in Saturn’s, exaltation, triplicity and term. So we see that querant has an unusual interest in her health and is likely to notice the slightest change to her well-being.

The answer for the querant is: No, it wasn’t food-poisoning, it was a passing condition and you are healthy. The rest may be told at the astrologer’s discretion.

Now what about the astrological connection between eating and any house or planet. Yes. The second house. What we eat is property that we ingest. (by the way kitchens also belong to the second house). But the question was about the feeling of unwellness and stomach or belly problems. So looking at what was ingested might just lead off into a tangent and complicate the answer. If we wish for more detail we might look up Wm. Lilly’s  planetary significations for parts of the body in each of the signs of the zodiac on p. 119 of CA. We discover that Moon, Mercury and Venus (dispositor of L6) are all in signs that point to the stomach or belly.

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A Question about Animodar: Christopher’s Sample Chart

There is nothing better than hands on astrology. The clearer the question the better it can be answered – and that doesn’t only apply to a horary question! Here was the question kindly asked by Christopher:

Here’s a chart that might present an exception: Natus, Nov. 8, 1965; 14:48 CST +6:00; Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi; 88W27 33N39. Ascendant 2 Aries 09. Moon 12 Taurus 22. The SAN is conjunctional in 00 Scorpio. The Trutine date and time are Feb. 5, 1965, 10:48:29 AM CST +6:00. This confirms the recorded birth time to the minute, with an adjustment to 14:48:02. But then we’d expect precision from a military hospital! However, if I’ve understood the procedure, the Animodar would have us adjust the MC to the degree of Mars (25 Sagittarius 55), giving him an Ascendant in 22 Pisces. This would require a birth time correction of almost a half hour. Not implausible, but it seems a stretch. I’d be interested to see how you would tackle this.

Let us look at both the base chart and the SAN, or the chart for the previous New Moon:

base chart

base chart

SAN chart

SAN chart

My software (Janus) calculates an Asc of 2 Aries 06 for the given time and places the Moon at 2 Aries 09 in the Trutine chart, the time being 10:48:21 AM. Now the rule for Animodar is to look for the planet that has the most dignities at the SAN degree. At 0 degrees Scorpio, Mars has the most, if not all, dignities. Mars in the base chart is at 25 Sagittarius 54. This is not very close to either MC or Asc. What next? I would recommend looking at the SAN chart as a whole. In the SAN chart Mars Lord of the New Moon is at 14 Sagittarius 35. What should catch our attention is the position of Jupiter, his dispositor. Jupiter is at 1 Cancer 16 in the SAN chart close both to the MC and Ascendant of the base chart. The MC of the base chart at 1 Capricorn 15 is closest. If we nudge the MC one minute so that it is at 1 Capricorn 16 we would have a birth time of 14:48:02. Astonishing. This is also the corrected time that Christopher arrived at through adjustment of the Trutine of Hermes. Whatever the discrepancy, both the Trutine and the Animodar seem to reinforce the birth certificate time.

Getting Started With Rectification: Trutine of Hermes and Animodar

Chart rectification can be a very involved process. Quite often a birth certificate has a time that is either on the hour or half hour. It is sure to be rounded, as the chances of being born exactly at these times is possible but highly unlikely. How does one begin? Where can one find a basic orientation? One possibility is to use the Trutine of Hermes as a first step. I would like to demonstrate this technique with a chart from my files (it is not my own).

The Trutine of Hermes has as a working premise that the placement of the Moon at the time of birth is that of the Ascendant at conception, and that the degree of the Ascendant at birth is that of the Moon at conception. But how does one find the date of conception? Lilly discusses the method on pp.502-505 of his Christian Astrology.

  1. First we need to locate the Moon in the unrectified chart, let us call it the ‘base chart’. Is it above or below the horizon?
  2. Next we need to calculate the distance from Moon to Ascendant (if the Moon is under the horizon) and from Moon to Descendant (if the Moon is above the horizon)
  3. After that we refer to the table provided by Lilly (If the Moon is above the horizon every twelve degrees between Moon and Descendant  is incremented by a day, beginning with 258 days gestation. If the Moon is below the horizon each 12 degrees between Moon and Ascendant is incremented by one day, beginning with a gestation period of 273 days – you can refer to the article The Moon and Gestation here at Altair Astrology for more detail)
  4. Once we have the number of days of gestation we need to find the day. Convert the birth date into the Julian day and then subtract the gestation period, then convert this Julian Day back to the Georgian date. The Calendar Converter at fourmilab can do this, but most astrology software should have this function.
  5. Once we have the date we can refer to an ephemeris and see if the Moon is indeed near the Ascendant degree of the base chart.
  6. If it is, then we can use the rectify function of our astrology programme to enter the Moon’s position as the Ascendant for the day found.
  7. What is the Moon’s position for the conception chart? We note this, then we recalculate our base chart with this degree as the Ascendant and note what the birth time would be for this new position. In fact this chart is now our new ‘base chart’ and we can use it for checking primary directions.

Now for the example. This is for a base chart with a birthdate of April 6, 1959. The time is 4:00 GMT 10e59 49n28. The Ascendant is at 18 Pisces 19, the Moon at 23 Pisces 37. This is all we need to know.

  1. The Moon is below the horizon
  2. The distance from Moon to Ascendant is 5 deg 18 minutes
  3. This distance is closest to 0 signs 0 degrees from the Ascendant. The gestation period is 273 days
  4. Convert April 6, 1959 into the Julian date = 2436664. Subtract 273. 2436664 – 273 = 2436391. Convert back to the Georgian date. This is July 6, 1958
  5. Refer to ephemeris. On July 6, 1958 at midnight the Moon was at 10 Pisces 17 . This is close to the degree of the Ascendant and worth pursuing further.
  6. Using the rectification function of my software I place 23 Pisces 37 on the Ascendant for July 6, 1958. The Moon is at 21 Pisces 26
  7. Still using my rectification function I adjust the Ascendant of my base chart to 21 Pisces 26 (I make sure I have the base chart! 🙂 ).
  8. This gives a birth time of 4:05 GMT, which is about 5 minutes from the birth time of the base chart. This is a reasonable time to use as a new birth time. Now I can begin looking at the primary directions for selected events

Once we have an adjusted time using the Trutine of Hermes it is a good idea to check it using the Animodar. This is a very quick check as all we have to do is see what degree the Moon was at the syzygy (i.e. New or Full Moon) before birth. In the chart used above the previous Full Moon was on March 24, 1959. It was at 3 Libra 26. This information can also be found in an ephemeris. Which planet has the most dignities at 3 Libra? Both Venus and Saturn are candidates. (Venus in domicile, Saturn by exaltation and term) Now in the base chart both Venus and Saturn are strong. If we check their positions we find Venus at 19 Taurus and Saturn at 6 Capricorn. Now 19 degrees is close to (and between) both the base Ascendant (18 degrees Pisces) and the adjusted Ascendant at 21 Pisces. So our adjusted Ascendant is a good base. I have ignored Saturn as his degree is neither close to Ascendant or Midheaven of the base chart.

In the next article I will do some of the initial calculations for primary directions for the adjusted birthtime of our example.

Nodes in Exaltation

A friend recently asked for my thoughts on the exaltation and fall of the Moon’s Nodes. He had come across references where the North Node is exalted in Sagittarius and the South Node in Gemini, contrary to traditional practice.

Many traditional astrologers ignore the nodes exaltation in the tables of dignities. They argue that as the nodes are not bodies but merely markers along the ecliptic it is absurd to give them a sign where they are exalted and conversely in fall. If one used the same logic there would also have to be a sign where they are in domicile and in detriment, as the planets are.

But how did the exaltation point for the North Node in Gemini and the South Node in Sagittarius come to be in the tables in the first place? What is the logic behind them being exalted just there and no where else?

We know that the Nodes play an important role in the eclipses of Sun and Moon. An eclipse can only take place when a Full or New Moon is near the Nodes. So the last New Moon was close enough to the nodes for a solar eclipse to occur, and the coming Full Moon is close enough for a lunar eclipse. You can generally rely on there being an eclipse of the Sun or Moon respectively to occur within two weeks of one another. Now the nodes can be considered as shadowing an eclipse. Imaginatively as the Dragon who shadows the Sun or Moon in order to devour them. The nodes mark where the path of the Moon crosses the ecliptic. North Node for the ascending Moon, South Node for the descending Moon. There are four other very important points on the ecliptic. These are the equinox points at 0 Aries and 0 Libra and the solstice points at 0 Cancer and 0 Capricorn. They remain constant as opposed to the nodal points which have a cycle of roughly 18 and 3/4 years to return to their original position.

The axis of the solstice at Cancer/Capricorn also forms the axis around which another set of ‘shadowy’ points are generated. These are the antisica. Any position in Cancer/Capricorn has its antisicion in Gemini/Sagittarius (just as any position at Aries/Libra has its antiscion at Virgo/Pisces). This corresponds to the traditional North Node/ South Node exaltation position.

If we consider that the Moon has her domicile in Cancer and the Sun his exaltation in Aries then it is not very difficult to see why the North Node, the node of increase, has its exaltation in Gemini, where the antiscia of a Cancer Moon are located. And conversely the descending node, the one of decrease, must have its exaltation at the corresponding antiscia of the Moon’s detriment.

Virgo, the second domicile of Mercury is where the exaltation points of the Sun have their antiscia, and would point, if one were searching for a domicile for the North Node, to Virgo.

This is not at all surprising if you consider how closely Mercury is bound with Dragon or Serpent imagry. In alchemical practice there are two Mercuries, one has wings the other is wingless. The first is found in Gemini, an air sign. The second is found in Virgo, an earth sign. And their tails are in Sagittarius and Pisces. One marks the dry path the other the wet.

Looked at in this way, it might be worthwhile to pay attention whether the nodes are in the mutable signs, for there they might prove stronger than elsewhere in a chart.

Cyclon Nargis; or Mundane Chart Analysis for Burma

David, in response to the book review on “The Art of Forecasting using Solar Returns ” brought some interesting ‘modern’ astrological correspondences to Cyclon Nargis. I promised to look at the charts and so will present what I have found in the following article.

First and foremost before beginning with a cold analysis of the charts I would like to express my deepest commiseration for the many thousands of people in Burma who have suffered this event.

Next it must be clear that we are analysing an event, but a similar method, more or less in reverse could be applied if on were engaged in forecasting. One needs time to forecast mundane charts for nations, as there are so many charts and so many possible events. An event chart is easier, as we know what we are looking for. An event chart provides the practice needed to deal with a forecasting situation.

Now what would be the best method in dealing with such a question? Mundane charts are like the layers of an onion each nestled in each other, and one needs an eye for what to look for. As we are dealing with a tropical storm, Mercury (winds, storm) and Jupiter (rain) along with any difficult configurations with the two malefic planets Mars and Saturn would be the best beginning point for any consideration. You see, any set of aspects or configurations won’t do, they have to show the scenario. There must be a thread that goes from one chart to the next. The charts to look at are nestled one in the other, from smaller to larger celestial events. Let me list them here:

  • lunar return
  • solar return
  • solar ingress
  • lunar eclipse
  • solar eclipse
  • grand conjunctions
  • radix

If we have a radix chart then we can use it. Burma is notable as its proclamation of independence was chosen by astrology!

Burma Jan 4. 1948 4:20am Rangoon

It is usually a good idea to find a link with the radix, so a lunar or solar return is a good place to start. Let us begin with the more current, the lunar return for April, 19, 2008:

The first thing that we notice is that the Moon is in the centre of a T-Cross to Mars and Jupiter, recalling that the Moon is Lady 8 in the radix chart. The beam of the lunar return (l.r.) T-Cross is positioned in the 2/8 radix house axis. Lord of the l.r. Ascendant is Mercury in l.r. 8th house (danger to lives and the economy). The antiscion of l.r. is conjunct SN l.r. in the 12th house. Mars is Lord 8 of the lunar return. Jupiter is Lord 4. Notice that Mars L8 l.r. is in house 8 radix. We notice also that the 12th house cusp of the lunar return is conjunct radix Saturn. There is another Saturn activation. The lunar eclipse of 21 February was at 1 Virgo conjuncts Saturn in the 12th house of the lunar return. So the lunar return already has something of a catastrophe warning. Now is there a storm connection. Is Mercury involved further? Yes and here is where we pick up the thread leading into the solar return chart. Mercury of the solar return (s.r.) at 22 Capricorn conjuncts Jupiter at the foot of the lunar return T-Cross. There is another tie-in with the lunar eclipse. Mercury of the lunar eclipse is conjunct the 8th house cusp of the solar return at 8 Aquarius.

The solar return has other features. What catches my eye is that Sirius is conjunct the Ascendant. Sirius, was for the Egyptians, the star associated with the Nile-inundation. The Ascendant also falls in the 8th house of the radix chart. This is not so good. This is intensified further as the Moon L1 of s.r. is at 16 Scorpio, conjunct the 12th house cusp of the radix. The Ascendant is also in opposition to radix Sun. We also find the s.r. Saturn at 8 Virgo conjunct radix Mars, L12 of the radix. Mars is also in the 12th house of the solar return.

So we see lots of nasty things happening in these charts, and I haven’t brought in an outer planet yet. It seems to me that the influence of the outers is isolated. The Mercury, storm cue is also found in the Ingress chart. Mercury (L 3/12) in the ingress is at 7 Pisces conjunct ingress Venus at 9 Pisces. They are in opposition to Saturn (L 7/8 ). Mercury is therefore exactly in opposition to the radix position of Mars and also in opposition to Saturn of the solar return. The Ingress also has Cancer on the 1st house cusp, once again emphasising the radix 8th. Mars at 5 Cancer also conjuncts the ingress Ascendant. (by the way the antiscion of radix Uranus is also at 6 Cancer 🙂 I might note here that Saturn is the great disruptor in traditional astrology, he is the man with the scythe who mows down what is in his way, and always too soon, or if you read Chaucer’s “The Knight’s Tale” the one who brings sudden calamity even after victory)

Last but not least we also have the solar eclipse tie-in. The antiscion of solar eclipse Mars is at 5 Cancer exactly conjuncting the Ingress Mars on the Ascendant. Also the antiscion of radix Mars conjuncts the Ascendant of the solar eclipse at 23 Aries. Now this doesn’t only have to do with the storm, as you well know. Burma has had other difficulties this year. Now back to the Mercury/Jupiter connection. Jupiter of the solar eclipse at 11 Capricorn conjuncts the Sun/Mercury conjunction of the radix and they are in turn square the radix Moon, which brings us back to the lunar return chart that we began with.

David, thank you for the challenge. As you can see the outer planets may be of interest, but attention should really be turned to what the ‘big 7’ are doing! There is more than enough happening.