Exegesis Volume 4 Issue #69

From: Janice & Dennis
Subject: Nostradamus etc.

Exegesis Digest Mon, 06 Sep 1999

Date: Sun, 29 Aug 1999 23:42:04 +1200
From: Janice & Dennis
To: Exegesis
Subject: Nostradamus etc.

Michel de Notre-Dame was born "around noon" 14 Dec 1503 (OS), St Remy, France (43N48, 4E50). See Lois Rodden's "American Book of Charts", and i= f you run the chart in Solar Fire you need not bother with the calendar conversion because the program does it automatically.

Liz Greene's (fictional) bio of Nostradamus, "Dreamer of the Vine", appea= red in the early '80s, so I immediately bought and enjoyed it. If a more informative biography has been published in English I am not aware of it = and hope someone will inform me. In theory his chart ought to explain why he became a physician, an astrologer advising royalty, and the world's most influential oracle for more than four succeeding centuries until current times. I suspect that the next few months will be the height of his glob= al fame, and a rapid slide into obscurity will follow during the early years= of the next millennium. The reason for my expectation that his reputation w= ill collapse rests on a mass perception that his millennial prophecies did no= t come true.

These are mostly targeted on the notions of the Antichrist and World War III. The Hollywood movie fronted by Orson Welles back in the '80s dramatised the Centuries of Nostradamus rather well, given the clich=E9s inevitable to that style. I had read Erika Cheetham's interpretation of = the centuries in the early '70s, and a variety of others since. Lack of interpretive consensus inevitably deters the sceptic, and the regional warlord wearing a blue turban remains conspicuous by his absence. California has not been submerged, nor New York vapourised by nuclear war-heads. I still have Doug Boyd's "Rolling Thunder" somewhere, but the failure of the '80s prophecies, the early' '90s prophecies, the mid-'90s prophecies, and now perhaps those of the eclipse, have my inner sceptic wondering why it was so cautious.

If you believe in the many-universe theory, you can rationalise the situation thus: a disaster-free outcome has been produced via the mass power of positive thinking. I don't just mean groups of new-agers performing visualisations. Probably the collective impact of sceptics an= d the `business as usual' syndrome has considerably more shaping power. Christian fundamentalists have effectively been out-manouveured and paint= ed into a radical corner by less-conservative right-wingers. It has not tha= t the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are absent, but that they remain regionally marginalised. An astrological perspective on this is best achieved via an examination of the correlation between outer planets and social trends, which I will leave for another day. Suffice to say that Pluto's transit of Sagittarius requires more comprehension than astrologe= rs seem to have obtained from it, as yet.

Looking at the seer's nativity horoscope, one immediately weighs the before/after noon options. Sun culminating clearly indicates a life of social prominence, but in the 10th emphasizes vocation and status, wherea= s in the 9th emphasizes deep learning and wisdom. However his Mercury retrograde following in a medium-strength conjunction to the sun is more likely to have been in the 10th, culminating about 12 mins after the Sun. This position indicates a mind, ideas and communication drive with considerable impact on society and his status and reputation - the retrograde suggests a more inward mental focus, and perhaps ongoing reassessment of social impact and fame.

Strikes me the Ascendant is more suitable for a rough rectification. Ari= es rising would make him an originator, and see himself as founder or pionee= r of fresh initiatives. No evidence of this in his life to my knowledge. Pisces rising would make him fluent, and see himself as just another fish= in the cosmic ocean. More to the point, the Dragon's head rising exactly me= ans he could see the future. Pluto in the 8th trines this, and Venus in the 11th sextiles both. Culminating Sun/Mercury squares both horizon and Dragon. Noting that this 11.50am LMT chart has the Pope's degree on the Midheaven, I hit the print button. That critical degree of Sag culminati= ng seems an appropriate alignment for this most Christian astrologer who was commissioned by the Queen of France to do readings for the royal princes.

Pisces rising gives a physician empathy with the masses, and his years of travel in constant treatment of plague victims bears this out. The commitment and resolution required to achieve this travail correlate with his 8th house Moon at the midpoint of Scorpio, in exact trine to Saturn a= t the midpoint of Cancer. The healer motivation is boosted via the Cancer triple conjunction of Saturn, Jupiter and Mars, all trining his Moon, and that is in grand trine with Uranus and Jupiter. Obviously it was the lat= ter that gave him confidence in feeling good about his unusual and unconventional abilities.

Since eclipses were supposed to be, since ancient times, harbingers of do= om, or at least of momentous geopolitical events, people have tended to expec= t astrologers to predict their consequences. Since any review of the historical development of astrology will show that the marketplace was second only to the favour of the ruler in eliciting predictive tendencies from astrologers, we would naturally expect a considerable body of tradit= ion to have accreted in the last two millennia, from which we could abstract = a kernel of consensual belief. Puzzling that we have no such thing. Nostradamus is no help: his astrological references in the Centuries see= m deliberately designed to prevent any accuracy of prediction from ever bei= ng established. Some historians acknowledge that use of intricate and obscu= re coding systems was normal in any contentious areas of religion and statecraft, so he was probably protecting himself primarily and we can on= ly guess at secondary motives. The Great Fire of Alexandria, and the earlie= r one, explain why most classical books did not survive, but to me it is an insufficient explanation. Easier to believe there is no pattern of eclip= se correlations to have been identified.

In the late '70s Robert Jansky endeavoured to fill the vacuum with "Interpreting the Eclipses". In this useful introduction he gives plenty= of detail on the structure and timing of the Saros cycles, discovered by the Chaldean "astrologer-priests". There's a few paragraphs on Ptolemy's use= of eclipses in mundane astrology. "Ptolemy was less interested in the path that the Moon's umbra would follow across the surface of the Earth than i= n the sin location in which the eclipse occurred and its relationship of th= e ascendant, midheaven, Sun and Moon in the horoscope of the city or kingdom... As to the duration of the effect, Ptolemy incorrectly (I belie= ve) reasoned that the duration of effect of a solar eclipse lasted as many ye= ars as the eclipse lasted in hours, and for the lunar eclipse as many months = as the eclipse lasted in hours... he knew of the Saros and metonic cycles an= d was able to make one of the important discoveries of this earlier period regarding the Saros cycles. this rule of interpretation was that `[itali= cs] each succeeding eclipse in a particular Saros series took on the nature o= f the sign in which the first eclipse in the series occurred'." (p28)

Later on Jansky contradicts himself. "Too many astrologers for far too l= ong have been content to blindly follow Ptolemy's rules without testing them = in the light of present knowledge. A blatant example off this is astrology'= s blind acceptance of Ptolemy's rule for the duration of effect of eclipses. Ptolemy stated that the duration of effect of a solar eclipse lasts as lo= ng in years (some say months) as the eclipse actually lasts in minutes, from the time it first commences to the time it passes. Since the duration of= a solar eclipse can be as long as 7.5 minutes for totality (average about 3 minutes) eclipse effects must persist for over a decade if one considers = the time from commencement to ending of the eclipse. Ptolemy asserts that th= e effect of a lunar eclipse lasts as long in months as the eclipse lasts in minutes." (p63)

He goes on to describe several other rules for predicting timing of eclip= ses effects that "cannot be traced back to any one particular astrological observer. Rather, they seem to be a part of the mythology of astrology t= hat many have come to accept without question and without testing. In my opinion, these rules do not apply."

"If you throw out all of the previous rules governing the effect of eclipses, what rule do you put in its place? Based upon my observations = of my own life and the lives of my clients, the rule that I follow is simply this: `[italics]The effect of an eclipse persists from the time that it occurs until the time of occurrence of the next eclipse, solar to solar, lunar to lunar'. This may not be true, but for me it appears to work, an= d those for whom I do chart delineations respond positively to this rule. = As a scientist, I should really call it a hypothesis because I am unable to prove it scientifically, except in terms of my own personal observation." (p64)

This hypothesis struck me in 1983 as being more credible than the pseudo-tradition, and I have kept it in mind ever since and applied it to any checks on eclipse relevance that I have done. My provisional apprais= al is fairly moot. Mundane relevance has not been evident at all to me (I m= ean in political and event charts). In respect to my natal chart, there have been several impressive correlations. However I have lived a highly evolutionary adult life in an attempt to prevail over fate by acts of wil= l, so any current transits (and maybe progressions) can be correlated with developments in my life at any time. I am the wrong type of person to evaluate typical correlations for: someone normal would be better. A typical human (in theory) encounters situations in life provided by fate (environment & social circumstance) and reacts to them. My stance has (since late teenage years) been to expand the realm of situations in whic= h I can pursue the designer approach to life: elect scenarios, choose new options, create a basis for progress. Clearly I am an inappropriate subject, and am not in any position to judge the issue, but I do recommen= d retaining Jansky's working hypothesis. Naturally those readers who use rulerships will be able to invent spurious correlations to impress themselves and provide a vehicle for literary entrepreneurial endeavour i= n the usual manner.

"Mundane astrology teaches us that the nations and peoples living in the geographical regions traversed by the umbra of the solar eclipse are most strongly influenced by that eclipse. It seems logical to me that this is true since the effect of the eclipse ought to be most dramatic for those people and nations in the effect the eclipse produces upon their biomagne= tic fields, and thus upon their nervous system. In a detailed study of eclip= se effects upon the psychology of the individual and national identity, the path followed by the umbra of the eclipse certainly must be considered." (p43)

Jansky's opinion apparently here expressly contradicts Ptolemy's (above, p28). "Both modern and ancient mundane astrologers believe that the area= of the Earth's surface that lies in the path of the Moon's umbra is where th= e eclipse will be most strongly felt. Ancient history is filled with stori= es of how eclipses ended battles and wars and how they were supposed to sign= ify the birth of a king or other person of great importance." (p21)

Applying the logic of these traditional beliefs to the August 11 total so= lar eclipse, we would expect major geopolitical events to subsequently manife= st in the following countries: England, France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and India. So it would seem that we have a veritable treasure trove of opportunities to te= st the validity of eclipse theory, such as it is. Time magazine, August 9, = has provided a useful global map of the eclipse path, plus the following forecast times of totality (BST): 10.30am starts in the Atlantic at sunr= ise off the coast of Nova Scotia, 11.10 reaches UK and then passes over Plymouth, 12.21 reaches Dieppe in France, Bucharest at 2.06pm, total traverse at the end in India is "less than three hours". None of this ad= ds up: it has already been travelling 3 hours at Bucharest, about half-way, and the 40 mins it apparently takes to traverse the Atlantic is surpassed= by the 70 mins it takes to cross the English channel! But hey, we have to remember this stuff was written by a journalist, for Time readers. If you're a media professional the illusion of veracity is worth more dollar= s than the reality.

It makes sense to me that any validity to eclipse effects must be related= to lunation cycles, so applying Rudhyar's lunation cycle theory might be a g= ood idea. I'd therefore be inclined to suspect the first full moon after a total solar eclipse is the most likely time for the effects to manifest, = but I have to admit no evidence has yet come my way that this logic applies. The Turkey quake is the only event that yet qualifies for correlation wit= h the eclipse, shaking the government there as well as killing about 40,000.

This occurred at 3.02am (zone -3) 17 August 1999, Izmit (40N45, 29E50). = The Moon had departing from a sextile to the Sun, so lunation phase seems irrelevant to the event timing. Locality in an event chart derives mainl= y from the meridian, and the event timing correlation most evident in the chart is the Sun quincunx the MC (1.11 orb). A supplementary timing trig= ger could be Mars in the 5th trining both MC & Asc, widely.

More than half a Saturn cycle of sporadic examination of earthquake chart= s has informed me that there is no such thing as an earthquake astrological significator: no common pattern. The most that I'd be inclined to say f= or astrological theory in this context is that planetary configurations in these charts often seem appropriate dynamics: in this one we have fixed grand crosses. Mars/Saturn/Uranus/Dragon along with the concurrent Mars/Saturn/Uranus/Sun, plus separately Mercury/Jupiter/Neptune/Moon in t= he same signs.

The Jupiter/Pluto quincunx here seems viable; technically marginal at almost 3 degree orb but a powerfully transformative growth adjustment mak= es sense, and the 11th/5th (placidus) foci also. The other significant quincunx is Uranus in the 8th to Asc, closely conjunct Dragon's tail sugg= est ruptures of traditional economic patterns. Television commentary has already focused on this: buildings erected in defiance or ignorance of construction safety codes to save money. Layers of concrete floors collapsed suddenly, sandwiching occupants. Sudden death (Uranus in 8th) = to groups, from structures (square Saturn in 11th).

Seeing how Ptolemy's logic might apply requires choice of a horoscope for Turkey. Using the label politically rather than geographically, there se= ems no reason to dispute Nick Campion's choice (for a change). "The proclamation of the republic took place in the National Assembly in Ankar= a at 8.30pm." This was on 29 Oct 1923 (p276, "Book of World Horoscopes", 1988). Campion gives the data source as "The Emergence of Modern Turkey"= , Bernard Lewis, 1961, p256. The trap for young players in mundane astrolo= gy lies in taking such apparently reliable data at face value. Thus some American astrologers rushed into print and conference presentation of wro= ng charts for Israel in the '70s and '80s: Ben Gurion began his proclamatio= n speech at 4pm, but did not proclaim the emergence of the new state of Isr= ael until some 40 minutes later. In the case of Turkey, Campion has been helpful in providing further details; Kemal Attaturk, the leader of the revolution, was (re-)elected president of the republic at "8.45pm". Ther= e is a need for precision here: the Moon in Campion's chart is at 29Ge55. The chances that a large assembly of politicians made such a formal declaration at this time is zilch, in my opinion. I reckon it would have actually happened at 8.38pm when the Moon entered Cancer.

Regardless, let's check Ptolemy's logic. The eclipse was at 18 Leo 21, s= o we are looking for hits on Turkey's Sun, Moon, Asc or MC. Well, we get o= ne hit; the eclipse is exactly quincunx Turkey's MC in my chart (for 8.38pm= ), but also marginally quincunx Campion's MC (16Pi20). It is also exactly square natal Venus. Let's check the Saros cycle logic: consulting Jansk= y's table (p116) we get Saros series #1(North). "This series commenced on January 4, 1639 at 13 Capricorn. Thus all eclipses in this series are of the nature of this sign and degree." (p29) This lies in the 7th in Turkey's chart, setting, and closely opposes natal Pluto rising.

I don't wish to jump to any conclusions. It is noteworthy that the repub= lic persists, and we have a reasonably accurate chart for it. Wasn't the Antichrist mean to emerge as regional warlord in Syria or Iraq, and conqu= er the countries to the north, east and south? Egypt also persists uninvade= d, as does Iran. Things seem a mite too calm to bode well for Nostradamus, only the simmering border clashes between India and Pakistan and nuclear sabre-rattling threatening to manifest his millennial war. I lurked in alt.prophecies.nostradamus awhile earlier in the year and it was running hot, 600 new messages some days, and so many of them from empty heads tha= t I couldn't cope and had to unsubscribe. Almost two weeks after the Turkey quake, and still nobody participating in alt.astrology.moderated has post= ed the eclipse correlation, so perhaps the heads are all empty there too...

Dennis Frank


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