Exegesis Issue #9

More to come shortly.
Oh, Ben was 8 pounds, 11 ounces,
21 inches long.


Return-Path: pdeg@pophost.login.net
From: pdeg@pophost.login.net
Date: Tue, 23 Apr 1996 07:22:55 +0000
Subject: Exegesis: concept analysis


Attached is something that I wrote and presented about a year ago to a Mundane study group that we have here in Montreal. Although it is rough and I have taken the time, now, only to give it a light dusting-off, it is the kind of thing that I conceive as going on in Exegesis. The idea was, as will appear obvious, I guess, to see how certain key concepts, e.g. economic, political, can be 'unpacked' in astrological terms. As I mentioned to you in a previous e-mail, my background is in philosophy. I am a philosophy professor at a local Cegep (junior college), an experience which has allowed me to study a broad range of subjects while interacting with (essentially) 16-20 year-olds about issues relating to all of these subject matters.

I got involved with astrology when Uranus transited my Moon. I have been more interested in mundane astrology than in personal charts. I am a serious student of astrology, currently in the process of acquainting myself with a number of new tools, while interacting with others students and established astrologers whom I know in this area.

What I would like from this submission is feedback on the ideas, especially suggestions about how the ideas could be expanded, within the charts that I have used, or to other applicable charts.


PS. I have used the Rudhyar chart in my analysis of the US, but also work extensively with the Gemini rising chart. I tend toward the belief that both charts have significance, but I am looking to see how both charts are activated in the mundane work that I am presently doing.

[Paul's article follows, but some of the formatting has been lost, which I will attempt to maintain on the Web site. --fran]

April 17, 1996
The Concept of Production in a Mundane Chart

Production in the mundane chart is not to be found as simply as looking at a particular house.
The sixth house is, however, the place to start in delineating the production, or productivity, of a nation. E.F.Schumacher averred that work helped man to overcome his egocentricity, a perfect description of the cyclical function of the sixth house: the 6th house follows the 5th and thus represents earth limitation on the expression of the ego. This is where an individual works in material service, where the return is not always what he thinks that he deserves: Marx talked about how the worker was alienated from the product of his labour. Paradoxically, the 6th is the 5th of the second, which means that this is the house in which the resources (as opposed to the natural resources) of the nation find their 'expression'.
The result of this productive process is, of course, represented by Venus, which is often 'usurped' by the bosses, or others in the possession of power (represented by Sun and/or Saturn and/or Pluto).
Production and productivity, of course, have to be tied to Mars in the chart. Mars is the energy without which nothing can be produced. Venus represents what of value results from the productive process; it represents what is desired and what people are willing to pay for.
The 3rd house, the 10th of the 6th, represents the 'fulfillment' of labour in trade. The 3rd house is the house of exchange: this can be verbal, electronic or of things. It represents The Market of the country in question (although it can also represents interaction with close neighbours). The 3rd also represents the 2nd of the 2nd, what the second house, the countries resources, needs to sustain itself. [The 1st, incidentally, is the 12th of the 2nd, and thus represents the hidden resources that can be tapped to enhance the 2nd.]
The Moon represents the needs of the nation (as opposed to its wants or desires, which are represented by Venus).
Let us look at this issue by reference to a few charts which we have dealt with in the group.

CHINA. The Pl/Ma conjunction, in Le, would indicate that China has a great productive potential. The special quality of some of its artifacts may be represented in the sextile of Ju to Ve. But China has also produced--and continues to produce--a lot of toxic waste, pollution, atrocity and destruction (Ve in Sc sq Pl). There is a subtle discipline to the productive force (Sa ssx Ma) and a spirituality which enhances production (Ne sx Ma).
Me (what we exchange) at the SN suggests that what is traded could be from the past, from their 'heritage'. This is reinforced by the fact that the sign on the 4th house cusp (Ta) is also on the cusp of the 3rd. Ta on the 3rd suggests that the exchange would be in material goods. Pisces on the 2nd would suggest that, perhaps fundamentally, the resources of the country are spiritual (cf. 'the Mandate of Heaven').
The needs of the people are represented by the Mo, in the case of China in Aq. Besides representing the felt need for independence and political freedom, and maybe a certain 'aloofness' or 'distance' (or 'unreachability') of the people, this placement also represents a felt need to be 'modern', to have the 'modern conveniences' and be advanced technologically (to move into the modern age). The placement of the Mo in late 12th puts this need near the forefront of the people of the nation and represents the readiness of this need to emerge and take primacy in the agenda of the nation.
Sc on the cusp of the 10th suggests both that the productive process is controlled by strong power, potentially by big capital, and that those in charge of the nation can severe task masters, besides being, often, unscrupulous, and, often corrupt or caught up in corruption.

HONG KONG. [August 28, 1842, 00:00 am, LMT, Nanking, Asc 26Ge22] Ma is in the 3rd house (in Le) suggesting that production is related closely to trade. Ma is applying to a trine with Pl, and the placement of Pl in Ar suggests a somewhat headlong energy, and a lot of drive related to a vision and advanced technology (placement in the 11th). The qqx of Ju to that Ma suggests that Hong Kongese may not know when to stop pushing and to apply the brakes (Ju is separating from Sa), although the Ju will be tempered by its placement in Sa's sign. Ma in Le suggests that they are working for themselves, even though (as Denise pointed out) Mo in 12th (in Ta) suggests that cheap labour is a part of their way of life. Sc on the cusp of the 6th suggests that work is done with intensity, if not, perhaps sometimes--looking at the whole chart--obsessively. Ve in Li, tr Ne would suggest that the artifacts produced as aesthetically pleasing, even in an 'otherworldly' way. [The technological elegance of their products is indicated not only be Ne's placement in Aq, but also by the mutual reception of Ne and Ur.]
Ge on the Asc suggests the importance of trade. Sa on the Dsc suggests close relationships with foreigners or those abroad. It is particularly noteworthy that the Dsc is located at the degree for the Galactic Centre, which emphasizes that these relationships are with those 'very far from home'. (Ju in the 7th reinforces the foreigners of their [trading] partners.)
Incidentally, Pi on the MC suggests a spiritual dimension to their striving, particularly when you add the fact that Ur (in the 10th) is disposited by Ne. We need to relate this to the presence of Ju and Sa--and NN--in Cp, which relates, of course, to the midheaven. Confucianism has been attributed (viz. a recent article in The Economist) with having a good deal of responsibility for the success of, not only Hong Kong, but also of the other 'Pacific Tigers'.

The United States of America. Just some notes to get started:
--Rudyar states that the Asc/Dsc axis [Asc 13Ge00, set for 5:13:55 est] of the US chart lies along the Uranian nodal axis from which he concludes that the US is associated with the planet Uranus. And this says a lot about the US behaviour regarding work, production and trade. Ur is in Ge in the 6th, indicating not only the force of technology in work (the assembly line, and, especially recently, the computer and communications). This technology is related to trade (in Ge). Ma, too, is in Ge, indicating, again, that productivity--which is often on a 'mental' or 'relational' level rather than on a heavy industrial level. The term 'paper work' was invented to describe an American phenomenon. The 'manufacture' of Ph.D.'s could be said to be a case in point. The trade in armaments, is, unfortunately, a part of this dynamic.
--Mo on the cusp of the 3rd can indicate a people who are 'at home' trading, particularly of their technological inventions. Trading is part of 'what comes naturally'.
The 'product' offered for sale is represented in large part by Ve in Ca, which can be understood as products that can be used in the home, particularly (cj Ju) objects that will make life easier for the purchaser.
--Pl in Cp in the 2nd, means, of course, great ambition for personal wealth and very big money to invest in money making enterprise. The term 'plutocrat' has had to be invented as a result of the American experience. There is significant 'power' in this house. 'Other people's money' is a theme with Pl. Exploitation of others can, of course, be a part of this profile.

CANADA. Mo, ruler of the 4th, in Ge in the 3rd, Canada will trade her natural resources. [Some of her brightest stars will drift across the border to her 'neighbour's' 'yard'.]
There are mutually supporting reasons for saying that work (service) is a key part of the meaning of Canadians' lives: ruler of the Asc (Ma) in the 6th. NN is also in the 6th, indicating that work is a big part of Canada's worldly 'mission'. But Canadians may not know when to stop (Ju opp Ma). Canadians are disciplined and skilled workers, despite criticism (Ma is in Vi, quintile Sa).
Their products (See placement of Ve) include telecommunications, books, music, art and entertainment (see Me in the 5th) and financial services (bank activities may be indicated by Pl ssx Ve and Pl in Ta).


Return-Path: mdowning@allware.com
Date: Wed, 24 Apr 96 09:52 EDT
From: mdowning@allware.com (mary downing)
Subject: Chart comparisons

Synastry is the most useful tool an astrologer has at his disposal. The flavor I prefer is a "contact" chart -- multiple charts on a 90 degree dial. Synthetic reconstructions sporting Venus/Mercury oppositions make me shudder -- a personal distaste. I prefer to read my midpoints raw, with all their sub-connections. You get much more information that way.

What are "transits" other than the comparison of any given date with the particular "now" we're examining? We all use synastry when we compare two or more charts. What we are questioning is the "ethical" who, what, where and when of it.

Joanna is right to believe the problem lies in juxtaposition of concepts that have nothing to do with the technique itself. What's controversial about comparing an employee to an employer, or a student with his university? If I were investing in United Widgets wouldn't I wonder if they favored my profit potential? In mundane usage they are accepted. In a natal usage they are suspect -- but why?

Our very ideas about what constitutes profitable interaction in natal charts may require reexamination, and that may be why veteran astrologers are wary of synastry. We all know people who - by chart interactions - should be mortal enemies yet insist on being friends. Equally we find people whose contacts simply describe the relationship. The teacher who has Saturn conjunct our Sun, the computer technician with Uranus on our Mercury.

There are three adjustments we must make to our concept of what a natal chart really is.

  1. It is a description of potential that is modified by whatever societal mix nurtures it.
  2. It is dynamic not static. It changes and evolves throughout the person's lifetime.
  3. While a natal chart may describe the inner man, it also describes the "mundane" reality. Any given planet can work in a strictly descriptive mode. Jupiter conjunct the Sun may simply mean the person is fat. If so, your interaction with their Sun/Jupiter probably won't be profitable unless you're running the local Weight Watchers.

One client of mine has Pluto/Mars conjunct her 7th house cusp. Her husband added a Mars/Uranus to the picture. I gasped when I saw it! He's a mining engineer and she's a rehabilitation psychologist. I must admit every time I see her I look for bruises -- but to each his own, and that's the rub. She would marry a Pluto/Mars no matter what, yet her Mars/Pluto is descriptive of how a rehab psychologist interacts with "others" as well as husbands. People have expectations that may not be "good" in any universal sense, but are necessary for them to interact in a given way at all. She's lucky (I think) that the Mars/Pluto also pretty well describes a mining engineer -- as does his Mars/Uranus describe engineering altogether. Certainly not an interaction I'd pick for a client -- but what in the world would I pick for someone with a 7th cusp Mars/Pluto anyway? Whips and chains?

There's also the problem that few of us are without quirk or prejudice. We are socialized from an early age by parents, region, language, religion. An Indian astrologer with whom I correspond, remarked on the positive nature of a Saturn/Venus contact in a prospective bride. She would be frugal. Probably so, but not what our society would consider an indication of desirable romantic nature. In India "frugal" is good. In America, "romantic" is good. The Venus /Saturn lady may never comply with what our society thinks is desirable in a mate. Her head is much too much in command of her emotions for our taste, but different societies have different palates.

We have this tendency to expect all chart indicators to evidence in a psychological or character mode, when quite often they are simply descriptions of a totally amoral mundane reality. There are people out there looking for Daddy. Why shouldn't we find them marrying Saturn contacts? What does anyone really want after all? I might make an educated guess, but there are too many societal overlays for me to be 100 % sure. We would have to first determine what a person's heart's desire really is, and then find the person who met the specifications astrological as well as by good planetary contact. That's a really tall order.

I think that's the reason we instinctively think someone who would throw out a perfectly good husband or wife for an unknown replacement with a "perfect chart" is daft. How do we know the "perfect" partner isn't someone so crippled by religious remorse (because they were born into the "wrong" religion), or trained by circumstances to like what we hate? We know the planets, but that doesn't tell us how the person used them. We are all of us a work-in-progress, and natal planets are only potentials. The person interacts with countless other individuals and institutions in getting here now, and each left a residue.

What best we can do is translate the planets into abstract states: Mars/Venus pairings (even squares and oppositions) tend to show up in a "mating" process. They are the best indicator I know for telling if a company will hire an employee; if you link into their Mars/Venus, they'll love you -- for now at least; wait 'till Saturn comes around. One of my Don Juan (Neptunian) clients has afforded a mini research program for me with his escapades. Of 14 lady-loves I've charted, he had Mars/Venus contact -- usually with their Mar/Venus or Sun/Venus on 11. He finally married, in his 50's, a woman who had a Venus/Saturn contact. She married him, not for his considerable charm, but his bank account, and according to him is everything he ever wanted but never found. He has his fantasies and she has her security. Both like what they've got, and with her clear-headed Venus/Saturn she'll keep working to make sure his fantasies stay interesting. De gustibus non est disputandum.

Ethically I have no problems comparing charts for anyone at all. Of course if anyone asked me to find the perfect mate for them, I'd tell them they were loony -- no such animal exists because we are changing till we die. Perfect this week maybe -- which is probably why Neptune/Venus crops up in so many wedding charts. Beautiful dreams. Do you really expect a job to last "perfectly" forever? Why should a human relationship? It had to be good when they hired you, or they wouldn't have --right? Isn't that why society uses coercion to keep partners together -- so that common property and children arn't abused? People change. We know this. We call it transits.

Luckily in everyday mundane affairs things are very much simpler. It certainly is a more direct way to learn how comparisions actually work. You interact with corporations constantly and their data is public record. Hate the phone company? Find out why! Think New York is the pits? Check it out. Want to sell your Widgets? See when your chart and your potential buyers interact favorably. Have a really rotten run of employees? Check their charts against each other to see what they have in common, and compare it to the company chart. For that matter compare yourself to your company and check the current transits. If you can find out when they have historically had major lay-offs, you can tell when they're likely to have them again.

There are two books I'd recommend: The Combination of Stellar Influences, and The Contact Cosmogram both by Rienhold Ebertin (available by mailorder from the AFA). They don't require 90 degree dials for interpretation of simple contact, though dials allow the use of as many charts as you want simultaneously. They need only be separated by concentric circles or colored markers. You can even do simultaneous transits and solar arc directions. I wouldn't abandon houses entirely; Devore's Encyclopedia of astrology has some very good material on mundane usage (under Houses) that was written by Charles Jayne.

--Mary Downing


Unless otherwise indicated, articles and submissions above are copyright © 1996 their respective authors.

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