View of the Nile and Cairo from the Cairo Tower (2007)
photo credit: Radausandei
I can't imagine a more disturbing if educational way to learn about astrology than by watching it unfold in the streets of a country beset by popular or military upheaval.
And yet, there is that old and true expression: those who will not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
The only thing I would add to that is that this isn't just about History (big "h") as in politics, armies and nations. This is also about our single and singular lives as human beings. Cycles work in our lives and come around again and again as surely as they do when it comes to nations and regimes.
People often ask why astrologers 'didn't see this coming.' The answer is, you can't watch every chart and every world location all at once!
If anyone can, I'm not even sure I'd want to meet them, either! (Though I might want to know how many computers they're running...can you imagine?)
However...some 'common knowledge' astrology does stand out in this past week's news. As trouble began erupting in Egypt, the Moon was in Libra. As violence escalated into the dramatic scenes of thousands streaming across Cairo's bridge as the army retreated in front of them, the Moon had moved into Scorpio. As the Moon then moved into Sagittarius, fervency hit the violence point - guns brought out began getting fired.
And again - as I've said before, there are a lot of problems brewing in a lot of places. But I can't cover it all. For purely instinctual reasons, I've focused on Egypt - and I hope no one thinks that means I don't care about anywhere or anyone else.
We each do what we can do. So going back to these global passages of Moon in Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, they are global. So in some measure they operated in each of our lives. The nature of the signs - and how the Moon tends to play out in each sign is what I'm referring to here.
All three signs belong to the zodiac's third, interactive quadrant.
The zodiacal 3rd quadrant: Libra (air), Scorpio (water), Sagittarius (fire)
All signs in this quadrant act interactively. They may play to the audience, be caught up in what others are doing, exchange ideas, negotiate, try to make their point, or operate in any of a million other interactive modes.
The Libra segment is 'airy' and theoretical. So the Moon moved into and through Libra, in Egypt, the people protested and shouted. Their government replied - and make no mistake, silence says as much as anything else in the world of interactions.
I mean...have you never had someone give you the silent treatment? Makes a real point, does it? As does being ignored or stonewalled. Silence is not always golden nor mute: sometimes it's worth a thousand words!
Scorpio being fixed water, from early on the 26th through early on the 28th, emotional drives made it important to make one's point. That's the typical Scorpio move - to try to gain control, and if possible, to do so without damaging whatever you're trying to gain.
Not particularly 'gracious' in Scorpio, the Moon is known for bringing out exhibitions of anything between defiance and testy sulkiness in Scorpio...which (sorry to say) sounds apt, considering this is when confrontations began, though people remarked on the lack of looting at that point.
Looting didn't start until the Moon entered Sagittarius come mid-morning on the 28th. And that's another painful if interesting comment. Sagittarius is the realm of astrological fire; Moon in Sagittarius acts with fervency and promotes 'fiery' rhetoric which if not held in check by some greater moral imperative often enough results in actions or statements which, in hindsight, are in some 'realistic' sense regrettable even if in fiery, 'theoretical' or 'conceptual' terms is thought justified.
The other side of Sagittarius is less savory - it rules the judicial system and therefore the theory of 'might makes right.' That there was a prison break during this time speaks to just how far Sagittarius can go; how those prisoners got out will be something worth listening for.
Egypt's White Desert of Farafra
photo credit: Omar Kamel
The Moon will enter Capricorn - Cairo time - just after 4pm on Sunday, January 30th. Capricorn is a 4th quadrant sign. It is thus not person-to-person (or personally) interactive, but global. This societal. This is group oriented. This is national. This is systemic.
Capricorn is the structure of life. It is the thing which like, love or hate it, is the thing you rely on. You know where you stand because Capricorn forces, dynamics and realities define the rules, the boundaries, the necessary routines and regulations of one's life.
The Moon is push and shove in emotional Scorpio. Against this we have it's other bad habit - to act with 'entitlement' and haste - when in Capricorn, an earth sign which fosters and seeks very real results.
Capricorn embodies the quests, questions and directives which are leadership and knowing where we're going and where we stand. Every month when the Moon goes through Capricorn, we are tested as to our sense of proportion and capacity, our ability to do what we want to do against who we know we should be.
The Moon will be in Capricorn - Cairo time - until the wee hours of February 2nd.
So what will happen? That we don't know. I don't pretend to know - there are just too many factors in the air. There are millions of lives, each unique, which are in play and at stake.
But there are some moments which seem apt to look at and learn from.
I am posting only a handful of moments from Sunday, January 30th here for our observation. This does not mean that this is the most critical time, or that there are no other critical times. I am merely saying these are things I noted when looking at an astrological clock (yes, really good astrological software is a wonderful thing!)...so I thought I would share.
Sunday, January 30th (2011) - Cairo, 4:39am
It is my understanding that there is a curfew currently in force in Cairo. That would be imaged by the Saturn ruled Capricorn Pluto (control)/North Node (what you should do) at the Ascendant, point of action or activity. These Capricorn points are ruled by the Saturn at 17 Libra (at the top, in green).
With Saturn in Libra, that gives us a rulership by Venus - Libra is ruled by Venus. The Venus of this chart is still in the 12th house of the chart, but already above the Ascendant. Situated at 24 Sagittarius with the Moon at 23 Sagittarius, that tells us that give or take, it's about two hours before that fervent Sagittarius Moon conjuncts that Venus - by which time, Venus will be in the societal streets of the 11th house.
Using the movie term, we now 'cut' to dawn in Cairo...
Dawn in Cairo - January 30, 2011
Dawn being defined as the Sun rising up over the horizon, here we have the Sun rising in Cairo - with asteroids Hel and Sappho rising just ahead of it.
If I say that Sappho is the poetic universality of humanity and Hel is...well, our Hel, this hardly looks like a pleasant morning.
Interestingly, on the other side of the chart (at the Descendant - where ultimately the Sun sets) we have Photographica, a symbol all about 'what it looks like.' So...do we expect posturing for cameras? Some taped messages going out over the air? Maybe.
Looked at another way, Photographica at the Descendant may represent a change or shift in the 'look of things.' Different images may be offered - or communication means or amounts may change in the world of Cairo, if not the whole of Egypt.
That last line really illuminates one of the big problems of being an astrologer trying to do this work. Someday maybe we will have programs which allow us to say 'tell me when this happens at xyz place.' Or to such-and-such a person. We'll be able to automate our files.
It just hasn't happened yet. So I speak in terms of Cairo but not Tunisia. I can't even get as far as clock watching in Alexandria...
The coastline of Alexandria, Egypt in 2006
photo credit: Jackson550
....or Aswan, which most people don't know know all that much about except for it's dam.
I've had the pleasure of visiting Aswan. I hear it's the hottest place in Egypt during summer - fortunately I was there in a cooler month. It was spectacular. Watching the sun go down in Aswan gave me a profound sense of the great expanses of human time...and how minuscule that is indeed when compared to time on planetary or galactic scale.
The Nile at Aswan, wandering among river islands.
photo credit: Citadelite (2007)
I'm sure you hear what I'm saying. Egypt is a land filled with people, each of whom has a life as valuable and 'total' as our lives are to us.
And yes, the rest of the world is just the same.
Egypt is far, far more than its famous monuments - though yes, they are really, truly spectacular.
I hope you get to travel there someday. And elsewhere. The world...our world...is well worth getting to know.
So - after dawn. What comes next?
January 30, 2011 - 7:51am - Cairo Time
By just before 8 o'clock in the morning Chiron (daunting need) is at the Ascendant as Hidalgo and Antares stand at the Midheaven.
This would seem to be a reactionary moment. Chiron is what we are faced with doing that we don't know how to do, and which we can't know how to do except by doing it. Chiron embodies the old saying experience is the best teacher.
But at the same time, Chiron is also all about the need which drives us to try doing those things we don't want to think we need to learn how to do. They often turn out very well - but boy, do we resist learning this lesson or what!
Here pictured at 29 Aquarius, with an Ascendant also at 29, this is an expression of urgency of need and/or the idea that something is 'urgently needed.'
Against this we have Hidalgo and Antares at the Midheaven: a classic question of what one is willing to do to win the day. One of the Royal Stars of Persia, Antares promises success if we do not act out of a desire for retribution or vengeance.
This could be the government taking action. Then again, it could be the people acting out against the government.
It's important to remember here that symbols like Antares are not 'person particular.' The door swings both ways. You can be the underdog of all time who deserves rescue and a chance to get back at your oppressors - but if Antares is around, moderation must be your byword. At some level, it's not so much what you do here as the energy with which you do it.
I suspect no more needs be said.
Two more moments...
9:03 am (Cairo time), January 30th, 2011
This chart is notable because it has Black Moon Lilith (mass rejection/rejection by the masses) at the Ascendant with headstrong Phaeton just ahead of it.
Meanwhile, 26 Sagittarius - the need to give to others - is at the Midheaven with the Moon and Scylla (of all things!) perfectly conjunct.
There's a huge amount of conviction being displayed here, with with Scylla modifier suggesting stubbornness beyond calculation. That, in terms, suggests some sort of action or activity which goes farther than one might suspect, lasting or holding out even when one might have thought an end must surely have come.
Last but not least (and let's note that all these are morning hour charts) a chart for 10:19am, Cairo time. Many people in the west will be sound asleep.
Maybe having bad dreams? Who knows. But that everyone isn't awake at all times gives us one of those interesting clues about why certain things happen in one place but not another.
With that said, the chart...
January 30, 2011 - 10:19am (Cairo, Egypt)
This chart has recently-eclipsed Vega at the Midheaven. With Vega is Hybris, easily translated into 'hubris,' or arrogance.
At the Ascendant is Eris Discord - disruption. With Eris is Hebe, the servant. There having been rumors that President Mubarak may name someone as his successor, this well may be a chart connected with that concept. Then again, this may be connected to the 'national servants' which are embodied as Egypt's military.
About twelve minutes before this chart...make it just past 10am Cairo time, TNO/Plutino Ixion and asteroid Child will be atop the 9th house cusp. When I saw this, I wondered whether we would hear about Mubarak's son - already reputedly out of the country (meaning, Egypt).
Ten o'clock in the morning in Cairo is breakfast and rush hour in London. It's the middle of the night in New York. Here where I live in Los Angeles, many will just be going to bed. Out in Honolulu, they're still watching prime time TV (or not...!).
New Zealand will be just sitting down to dinner - dinner tomorrow night to me, but that's just how it works.
We all will get this moment but it will be presented in very different ways, depending on where we are. And where we are makes all the astrological difference.
Yes, there is some part of me which wishes there was a way to know what was happening everywhere all at once.
But then, what would I do with that? The point is how we live our life - not just what we know about it.
There's been a lot of talk about how social media and cell phones and streaming video and all such have made an enormous difference in how we regard what's happening in the Middle East. Revolutions (unfortunately!) come and go. But this is possibly the first time the everyday person has had the ability to use technologies which used to be in the hands of the elite few to make their case!
And further their cause. And get the word out.
To this, as just a tiny footnote I'll also add that this is the first time astrologers far and wide had software powerful enough to watch it.
So time marches on!