Ukraine, Russia, Putin: On the Cross (repost)

originally posted March 6, 2014

I have spent a few days preparing to write this article. I have been studying the history of Ukraine, the Astrological charts for Ukraine, Russia and Vladimir Putin, and their current Astrological “exams” or transits.

There is enough material here for a book. I expect this will be a lengthy article. (You might want to print it out). I am going to endeavor to hit the “high points” and keep it somewhat concise, while sharing a lot of the valuable insights I think give a unique perspective into what is going on beneath the surface of things.

This article is in resonance with, somewhat of a prelude to, what I have decided will be the next book that I will write. (After having consulted with my Tarot Cards). That book will be entitled: “To Europa with Love” based upon my accumulated insights and understandings I gained from my several years of work and travel there.

Looking at the history of Ukraine, I see one of the most, if not the most, convoluted histories I have ever studied. There were times when elements of the Ukrainian population united with Russia to fight Poland, or the Austro-Hungarians or the Germans. There were times where they united with Poland, or the Austro-Hungarians or the Germans to fight the Russians.

There were periods where those changing loyalties came in rapid successions, as well as periods of civil war where these divided loyalties were at war with each other within Ukraine.

It is generally believed, however, that the first Eastern Slavic state emerged in the 9th century in the region of Ukraine, Kievan Rus, which was very powerful in the Middle Ages, but disintegrated in the 12th century.

What followed was a long history of conflicts and divisions between various Eastern (basically Russian or Soviet) and Western powers.

To summarize, Ukraine seems to be the most symbolic entity to represent a basic conflict between East (albeit: Russian, Orthodox Christian, and Communist entities) and Western, Catholic/Protestant and Capitalist entities.

Now the modern state of Ukraine was born in 1991, as was the modern state of the Russian Federation, and so they are both products of the Uranus/Neptune conjunction, which is the Astrological signature of the sudden (Uranus) dissolving (Neptune) of the former Soviet Union.

Ukraine, however, has this Uranus/Neptune conjunction in her 12th House of the deeper unconscious and past memories, which I believe indicates that the country, as a whole, carries in their unconscious the memory of this very chaotic (Uranus) vulnerability (Neptune) in their memories, especially in dealing with Russia and the West, and the conflict between the two. This is especially so as there were times when the Ukranians were definitely screwed by Russia and by the Western Powers.

Now as for Russia. Myself, I am always trying to look into the deeper, psychological/archetypal, mythological realities behind socio-political phenomenon. To my mind historians and political sociologists tend to blame large social movements on the economic situations at the time or simply the aggressions of a certain group. To try to blame Nazism upon the poor economy in Germany at that time, or simply the aggressivity of the Nazis, can in no way explain why such a mass of people would go that insane.

So here is my theory as to why Communism would be so palatable to Russians as a belief system. Historically Russians have always been made to feel inferior to the powers of the West. Compared to the grand courts of Vienna, Paris and London, Russia was primitive even barbaric.

I believe that from this there is an historic resentment of the West within the Russian soul. This is evident to this day in the tensions I observed between people in St. Petersburg and Moscow.

St. Petersburg was Czar Peter’s effort to create a Western European model showcase, which made other elements of Russia feel inferior. When I was in Russia in 1992 they told me in St. Petersburg that Moscow wasn’t really Russian, that it was “Tatarskaya”, i.e. infiltrated with Tatars or Muslims.

IN Moscow, when I mentioned hearing this statement, they countered by telling me “Well the palace in St. Petersburg isn’t even made of stone. It’s made of wood and covered over to look like stone!” Inferring that the palace isn’t a true Western European showcase but a fake Russian effort.

The point I am leading to with this discussion is that whenever I look at a social/cultural group which is imbued with an inferiority complex in relation to the mainstream, they will, almost inevitably, revert to a superiority complex, i.e. flip sides of the same coin.

The reason, to my mind, that Communism and dialectical materialism was so palatable to the Russian psyche, aside from the need to overthrow the political/economic repression they were suffering under, is because it gave the Russian identity a political/philosophical/economic system that was not only equal to Western Europe, but socially/morally superior to the decadent aristocratic/capitalist exploitative nations of the West.

Most Russians have agreed with this assessment when I have shared it with them. One Russian did counter by telling me that within ancient Slavic village culture there was always a communal sense of equality, with no one superior to another, which may indeed have been an additional factor.

The current Astrological chart for Russia gives it the Sun in Capricorn. In my research, however, I noted years ago that the nation of Russia, despite its various incarnations, is an Aquarian nation. This would go along with my sense that Communism is an early, albeit primitive, response to the Aquarian Age, an age where the focus will be on true equality, sharing and brother/sisterhood.

The problem with Communism is that it defines that equality at strictly the material/economic level. The Ascended Master Hilarion* has stated that the reason Communism would never work is because men will never recognize that they are truly brothers until they acknowledge they have a common Father.

To my mind the only times where Communism seems to work for a while is when thy have a good “father figure.” But human fathers always let you down, sooner or later.

In the Astrological chart for Russia, besides being a Capricorn, they have a self-image, an Ascendant/Rising sign of Leo. Some of you may remember Hilarion’s pronouncement about Leo Rising from my commentaries about George W. Bush. Here is the quote from Hilarion’s Astrology Plus**:

Leo
When the sign Leo rises, there will be a tendency for the self-picture to be colored by the notions of elegance, specialness and superiority. A proudness will often be felt internally, even though it usually does not manifest. The reason for giving this Ascendant to an individual is to prompt him to think better of himself than he is in the habit of doing when in incarnation. The rulership by the Sun thus lends to the individual certain bolstering influences in terms of how he sees himself, which are intended to teach him not to underestimate his own worth and not to feel inferior to others. In view of this explanation, it will be understood that those with Leo rising will often find that they are torn between thinking little and thinking a lot of themselves. Through the experience of this inner battle, it is hoped that they will ultimately learn that each person is complete and worthy in his own right, and that none are either superior or inferior.

One would imagine that this proud Leo self-image has been pretty helpful in allowing Russia to cope with the humbling experience of the collapse of their former Empire.

Interestingly, both Russia and Ukraine were born in their current incarnations with the Moon in the 1st House of Self-Image of which Hilarion says:

First House As already pointed out, the first house relates to the self-picture which the native has. Almost inevitably, a first-house Moon designates a weak or inadequate self-image. The symbolic derivation of this characteristic relies on the fact that the Moon is much “weaker” than the Sun in the sense that she shines only by reflecting the Sun’s light. Hence the self-image is a mere “reflected image” symbolically speaking. Since reflected images (as in mirrors, for example) have nothing of substance to them, the self-picture of one who has the Moon in the first is likewise lacking in substance.

The effect of the Moon in the first sector is literally to weaken the self-image, and this placement is often given to an individual who, in previous lives, had a strong and integrated sense of the self but who allowed the power of that strong personality to dominate and limit others. This is then the Karmic implication of Moon in the first – namely the requirement to suffer the feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness that always accompany a poor self-image, as a recompense for having put others through similar pangs in a previous incarnation.

From a lesson point of view, it is expected that the person who has the Moon in the first sector will learn to find his self-worth not in external accomplishment or the amassing of material things, but rather from the inner knowledge that he is worthy and loved in the sight of God. The antidote for the weakened self-picture which this lunar placement brings is thus to turn to the true and only source of worthiness, which is an acknowledgement of one’s status as a beloved child of the Eternal Father. For in God’s eyes, all creatures are noble and worthy. (See also the Introduction to this section)

This past life of having had a strong sense of self but using it to dominate or limit others could well relate to their previous incarnation as the Soviet Union, Ukraine being the only other state within the Soviet Bloc that had nuclear weapons.

Ukraine, however, has Mercury conjunct Jupiter in Leo, which is also going to make available some Leonine pride and arrogance to dissociate from, or compensate for, that weakened self-image, especially as these planets oppose their 1st House Moon.

The Jupiter/Mercury in Leo conjunction, however, is in the 7th House of Relationships and Partnerships, which, in difficult aspects, such as these oppositions to the Moon, are going to create a propensity for naive immaturity in one’s approach to relationships (Mercury) as well as exaggeration of the importance or approach towards some aspect of relationships (Jupiter).

Obviously, the underlying point I am evolving here is that the current situation in the Ukraine is kind of a “popped boil” of long, historical, complicated, psychological dynamics involving Russian relationships with the West and Ukraine’s relationship with both Russia and the West.

That may be the underlying backdrop behind the pro-Western and pro-Russian tensions in the current conflict in Ukraine. I think this Astrological indication of an arrogant naive exaggeration of relationships, in compensation for a weakened self-image, is going to make them look to be saved by some outside partnership, or exaggerate the importance of having a relationship with Russia or with the European Union, when clearly, in respect of their position, history and population, they should be working on some compromise solution which wouldn’t shut the door on either side.

Saturn moved into Ukraine’s 10th House of “Role in the World” and squared that Moon of weakened self-image on January 28th, and will again on April 5th and October 19th, and Saturn will square the Jupiter/Mercury end of this tension in November. So this heavy Saturnian pressure on their “role” is bringing all of this up right now.

On a deeper level, the Pluto/Uranus square going on in the sky right now, and the upcoming Pluto/Uranus/Jupiter/Mars Grand Cross of 2014, will be impinging upon that Uranus in their deeper unconscious memory of sudden change, revolution, and freedom from old patterns, which they carry in their collective unconscious psyche.

Later in the year it will involve the Neptune part of this Uranus/Neptune conjunction in their unconscious, hence the vulnerable, dissolving, necessarily surrendered part of this unconscious equation.

Since Russia and Ukraine were born the same year they have their outer planets in the same degrees and so are experiencing the same transits, although in different houses.

Russia’s Uranus is in the end of the 5th House of Parent/Child relationships and Love Affairs, and Neptune is in the beginning of the 6th House of Work, Service, and the “Way You Spend Your Day.”

In addition to having Uranus in the 5th House, however, Russia also has Mercury, Mars, and the Sun in the 5th House of Parent/Child Relationships.

Now, looking at Russia as being a Capricorn, and this 5th House Parent/Child karma, I can note how Capricorns often have a hard time being the child. They would rather be the parent.

Capricorns can also be seen to be more comfortable in their roles as parents than as partners, or may be inclined towards a “parenting role” in their partnerships.

I would say this is relatable to a sense of the former Satellite Nations of the Soviet Union as being its former children, upon which Russia has now focused an inordinate amount of attention and energy into maintaining and controlling those children/nations. However, their mode is still as that Capricorn, controlling, parent style, rather than an equal partnership style.

Pluto and Uranus have already been “triggering” the Mercury, the Mars, and the Sun in this house, hence the on-going tensions with Chechnya, Georgia, Ukraine, and dealing with any perceived intrusions into previous Soviet territory by the EU or NATO in gaining their own control of her “children.”

Now, the Grand Cross of 2014 is hitting and will hit the Uranus, planet of sudden change and freedom from old patterns, in their 5th House of Parent/Child Relationship later and in 2015 when we have the last but most intense Pluto/Uranus Square. At that time it will also be impinging upon Russia’s Neptune in their 6th House of The Way They Spend Their Day.

This could entail some deep suffering or vulnerability, economically or militarily in their daily experience of life. Or it could be a death/rebirth with positive Neptunian surrender, healing and compassion. It may require a bit of the former to bring them to the latter, however.

Vladimir Putin

We always want to look at the Astrological chart of the head of state to have a sense of how that individual might affect the actions and karmic results of an individual nation.

In the case of Vladimir Putin this is even more significant as he is obviously endowed with powers beyond those of virtually any elected leader in the democratic world. So let’s take a look at his Astrological make-up.

I am shy to state this, but Vladimir Putin and I are a lot alike. We are both Libras with Scorpio Rising. We are born only a year apart, so we both have Saturn in Libra, and we both have Saturn conjunct to our Suns.

Saturn in Libra is going to be karmic lessons around partnership and marriage. I was divorced around the time of my first Saturn return. Putin was divorced around the time of his second Saturn return.

Now I am happy to say that the similarities between us end there. I am certainly not an “action man” like him and I have no proficiency in Judo.

I do, however, note that slick Libran character. They say that Libra is the “Iron fist in the velvet glove.” You can also never beat a Libra in an argument. We are so good at rationalizing.

Putin has been noted for saying one thing and then later contradicting himself. Therefore, no matter what happens, he can always go back and say “See I said this.”

They say that Libra is always right, even when they are wrong.

The lower aspect of Libra in the Tarot is the Queen of Swords, who is very intelligent and has qualities of rational, logical abilities at a very high degree and level. But, she is nonetheless based upon fear and insecurity, and therefore she relies too much on those rational, logical qualities not trusting a higher guidance or deeper intuitive feeling. In this regard the Queen of Swords can not only fool other people with her logical, rational abilities, she can even fool herself. That is why Libra is always right even when they are wrong. They say we make good lawyers.

This is why Putin can actually believe his dubious rationalizations, even when Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, ends her recent conversation with him by stating “He has lost touch with reality.”

Now Putin and I both have that deeper, more emotional, intensely perceptive Scorpio self-image, which gives us a more visceral gut feeling added to our Libran charm.

But they say that Scorpio Rising is the Devil or the Saint. Astrologer/author Liz Greene once said: “People with Scorpio Rising turn all of their relationships into the last act of Othello.”

This is going to give to Putin a Scorpionic propensity for secret control and manipulation. A useful quality for an oppressive leader.

But here is the scariest part of Vladimir Putin, and a big difference between him and I. Whereas I pretend I am a Virgo (Virgo Midheaven) i.e. analytical, precise, and a bit critical, Putin pretends he is a Leo. So, yes, we have this recurring Leo theme again. Here is what Hilarion says about having Leo on the Midheaven:

Leo With Leo at the Midheaven, the image projected to the world has elements of magnanimity, pridefulness, generosity and occasionally arrogance. This picture may not conform to the inner picture and it may not be very close to the real complex of qualities in the individual, but it is given primarily to allow him to overcome feelings of inferiority which are inevitably carried over from a previous existence. In this case, even if the individual has a shaky inner self-image, the prompting to put a brave face forward, which Leo at the M.C. gives, may eventually cause the inferior inner picture to change. This is due to the great power of action in the world, not only in its effect on the physical level but on the emotional and mental levels as well.

So Putin appears confident, proud and arrogant, but this has been given to him to help him to overcome feelings of inferiority, basically very similar to the Leo Rising of the Russian Federation. In fact Putin’s Midheaven is 21 degrees of Leo. The Ascendant of Russia is 20 degrees. We could call this a “match made in heaven.”

When I was in Russia in 1992 I was rather shocked to hear that 50% of the population thought Stalin was a good thing. I said to my friend, how could that be? She said, “Well those people would say that that was when we had enough to eat and everybody was afraid of us.”

I have already noted earlier in my life how when a population feels uncertain and insecure as to who they are and where they are going, they either open to some totally new and different possibility, or they revert back to the last time that they remember feeling secure.

My first observation of this was in the transition of the Jimmy Carter to the Ronald Reagan presidency in the US. The energy crisis, the Iran Hostage crisis, and the failure in Vietnam had made the U.S. insecure and uncertain as to who we were. To my mind Reagan was a reverting back to a more simplistic World War II mentality where America is always strong and always right, as in a Hollywood movie.

Putin is Russia’s Stalin. Russians are willing to condone political repression and corruption for economic stability and, more importantly, someone who is going to bolster that proud, arrogant, albeit “faking it” self-image, willing to “Stick it to the West,” and buffer them from dealing with a core level of insecurity that keeps Russia from more fully approaching a “rapprochement” with the West.

Now, being a Libra, I will happily play the “Devil’s Advocate” with myself and point out that during the bumbling Yeltsin years the economic and political powers of the West didn’t always deal with Russia, in its vulnerable state, in the most conscious, compassionate way. There are always lessons and dysfunctionalities being worked on in any relationship, personal or national.

I did cringe in 1992 watching numbers of American Evangelicals flocking to the streets of Moscow to “save” the Russians in their time of uncertainty and confusion. No wonder the Russians passed a law establishing a small number of “officially” recognized religions.

Putin has not only a Leo Midheaven but he also has Pluto conjunct to that Midheaven. This gives Putin the projected image to the world of someone who has not only Leonine pride and self-confidence, but that combined with an all-powerful controlling manipulating Plutonian presence, especially with the Pluto being in the 10th House of Work, Career, Role in the World. Pluto rules Scorpio so this adds greatly to that Scorpionic energy.

Hilarion says, however, that with Pluto in the 10th, you will be drawn to a profession where deep-seated problems in the unconscious will be brought to the surface.

Well, if there is a place where Putin’s insecurities behind that Leo Midheaven might be brought to the surface it might be in the role of facing down the entire Free World.

Saturn has been moving through Putin’s 1st House of Self-image putting Saturnian heaviness weight and pressure there. On January 11th it squared his Leo Midheaven, hence the protests in Ukraine against his “deal” with Ukraine. On February 4th Saturn squared his Pluto, probably forcing “contingency plans” as events in Ukraine intensified.

Saturn is retrograde now and will square Pluto again on March 29th, the Midheaven on April 24th, and then, going again direct, Saturn will square the Midheaven one last time on October 7th and Pluto October 21st.

This isn’t the heaviest Astrological weather bearing down on Vladimir Putin this year, however. We haven’t even looked yet at where this year’s Grand Cross will be affecting him.

In relation to both the Grand Cross transits to his chart and what might be additional unconscious programs brought to the surface through his Plutonian “role” in the world, we end up looking in the same place, Putin’s 12th House of the Deeper Unconscious and Memory of His Most Recent Past Life.

In that 12th House, Putin has his Sun, his Saturn, his Neptune, and his Mercury. He is carrying a lot of baggage in his unconscious.

The Sun there shows he was a man in his last life, and he has the need to get into closer contact with his unconscious.

Saturn there shows that his last lifetime was not a happy one. There was ill health, or poverty, or some heavy restrictiveness.

Mercury there shows he probably died at a relatively early age.

Neptune there, in positive aspect, which he does have, a positive aspect to his Pluto, would show a quality of self-sacrifice, compassion, mystical vulnerability in that life.

In difficult aspect, which it is as well, square to Uranus, it would create Neptunian confusion, suffering or martyrdom

The same Uranus is also square his Mercury, Saturn and the Sun. The Neptune, and all three other planets, in tension with Uranus, created sudden changes out of the blue, accidents, ruptures, or radical revolutionary movements in that lifetime.

One of the more useful things I learned from Liz Greene, however, is her view that the 12th House also represents the inherited family unconscious.

The Uranus end of all of these tensions is in Cancer, which is going to create an “unusualness” or ruptures and accidents in the family or childhood. Putin was born in 1952, but he had two older brothers born in the 1930’s. One died within a few months of childbirth, and the other died from diphtheria during the Siege of Leningrad in World War II. This had to be there in the family unconscious, but would also resonate with the memory of Putin’s most recent past life which he was already carrying in his unconscious.

Transiting Uranus has just moved out of Putin’s 5th House of Parent/Child relationship and Love Affairs, where it was for several years, and into his 6th House of the Way he Spends his Day, likely creating uncertainty and sudden changes there.

On April 28th, right after the April 22nd exact day of the Grand Cross, Uranus will oppose Putin’s Libra Sun in the 12th House.

Transiting Pluto is in Putin’s 2nd House of Money and Finances and Love and Affection and will be squaring his Sun.

And during the Grand Cross Jupiter will square his Sun and Mars will conjunct it.

So all of this unconscious tension, which his secret, hidden Scorpio moodiness and Leo arrogance are good at hiding/denying, is likely to erupt into his conscious awareness.

The Pluto/Uranus tensions will go on for some years, however, onto his Uranus, his Saturn, his Neptune and his Mercury.

This is the start of probably the most intense Astrological period of his life. This is only the beginning.

Now, whether that results in some economic and/or military conflicts as a result of his own actions, or results in his having to be really honest with himself, seeing the errors of his ways, and having to back down and do some deep reassessment of himself, remains to be seen. Perhaps there will be some combination of the two.

I do know that, deep down, Libras really don’t like conflict. We really idealize peace and harmony. I hope that Putin can realize that he only “thinks” he is a Scorpio, and he only “pretends” he is a Leo, but deep down he is a peace loving romantic Libra, although one with clever “lawyer” skills. Hopefully he can stop fooling himself and others.

Blessings,
Steffan Vanel

Parkland High School

The Rebirth of the Soul of America or the New Sparta?

I stated earlier this year that I was going to examine and write some things about what I see happening, Astrologically and otherwise, for the United States at this time. I tend to wait, however, until some dramatic current event drives me to want to look closely at the Astrologcial ‘weather’ and to share those insights with you.

Well, the recent Parkland High School shooting and the responses to it, especially the student inspired #neveragain movement, has been one of those times.

I knew that all this year the planet Neptune was squaring the self-image of the United States, that is its Rising Sign or Ascendant in Sagittarius. I’ve spoken and written about this self-image of ourselves at critical points in the past, most especially noting that Pluto, the planet of complete transformation of which you have no choice, was less than one degree from that Ascendant on September 11, 2001, for the first time since our birth in 1776.

The sign Sagittarius on the Ascendant gives a love of adventure and travel, and a youthful enthusiasm, but also, according to Hilarion*:

This sign rising will tend to make the individual see himself as upright, honest and morally strong, whether true or not.

I am reminded of something the noted Astrologer Steven Forrest once said describing Sagittarius, something to the effect of: “Not always right but never in doubt.”

Saturn was conjuncting our Sagittarian Ascendant during the election year of 2016, hardening people into their own Sagittarian ideological camps. Neptune was also already in tension with that Ascendant at the same time in 2016, which may be attributed to the confusion and the sense of ‘victimhood’ often cited for the motivations of a large number of Trump supporters. There was a lot of Neptunian victim/test of faith on the left as well of course.

Saturn is still working on our self-image as he takes two years to go through our 1st House of self-image. It is really Neptune, however, moving through our 3rd House of thinking and communication, which has been making peaks of tension with our, at times, self-righteous and self-deluded Sagittarian self-image this year. The effects of this are obvious in a President who according to the Washington Post: ‘President Trump has made 1,628 false or misleading claims over 298 days.’

And obviously we, on the other side, are experiencing the confused victimhood of having to be vulnerable to such a force at the head of our government and in the branches of government controlled by his party.

With the President’s popularity dipping in the polls, however, we can see that even many of his previous supporters are having a Neptunian ‘test of faith’ and a wavering in their self-assured faith in the rightness and righteousness of their Sagittarian beliefs.

Now, on a more hopeful note, Neptune has also been trining harmoniously with our Sun in Cancer. With this there is a glimmer of faith that these new communications (3rd House) coming from the Neptunian ‘victims’ of Parkland students can actually restore a connection and a faith in who we really are and are meant to be as a nation, represented by our Sun in the caring, nurturing protective sign Cancer.

This is part of a very long-term process. During the whole second half of this year Saturn will be opposing all of the U.S. planets in Cancer, and triggering our Sun/Saturn Square in the process. The Sun/Saturn Square relates to the incredible polar tension in this nation, a polarizing tension which at one time brought us to a Civil War. To put it mildly, the Mid-term elections are likely to get pretty nasty.

Now the Parkland High School Shooting took place the day before the Solar Eclipse. The Eclipse was in Aquarius, conjunct to the Moon in Aquarius in the Astrological Birthchart of the United States. The ‘Great American Eclipse’ of last summer was opposite to that Moon in Aquarius, making this a ‘bookend’ event, of a focus upon our need to really come together as one human Aquarian family. Something we have done in the past but are sorely lacking now. The Parkland shooting and the reactions to it reveal this difficulty and confront us with the need to allow something to die and be reborn, the symbolic request of an Eclipse.

The chart for the Parkland Shooting event has Neptune in the Sagittarian 9th House of moral courage and belief system.

On the day of the shooting it was squaring Mars in Sagittarius, becoming exact three days later. That same Mars was exactly conjunct to the U.S. Sagittarian Ascendant two days after the shooting.

This, I believe, is the birth of a new movement, coming out of a sense of victimhood, inspiring a call to action fueled by Sagittarian honesty and moral courageous outrage.

For those of you who remember, or are aware of, the deaths of four students during the Anti-Vietnam War protests at Kent State University in Ohio in 1970, I would say that, for this younger generation, the Parkland High School is their Kent State Moment.

Kent State was when large numbers of young people who may have previously been on the fence about how actively engaged to be about what was going on in the political reality of the nation knew they had to get off of the fence.

Hearing the Parkland student Cameron Kasky calling out Marco Rubio for his acceptance of NRA contributions definitely reminded me of the political fervor of 1970. Rubio’s rebuttal also reminded me of the intractable forces we were facing in 1970 as well. We had Richard Nixon as our President at that time.

The students at the Parkland High School were born around the time of the Columbine High School mass Shooting in Colorado and have grown up with mass shootings with assault weapons and school drills to prepare for such events. I somehow feel a parallel with my generation growing up with the fear of being shipped off to Vietnam.

Of course then, as now, there were regressive right wing forces bitterly opposed to what we were fighting for. We wanted to end the War and others wanted to ‘Nuke Hanoi.’

It is to be noted as well that many of the young students affected by this new student movement emerging from Parkland High School are not yet old enough to vote, as was the case with many students and soldiers sent to fight in Vietnam.

When I heard Donald Trump’s proposal to have concealed weapons carried by teachers I came up with the metaphor of the US moving into being reborn as ‘The New Sparta.” Sparta the city-state in ancient Greece described in this way:

Sparta was unique in ancient Greece for its social system and constitution, which configured their entire society to maximize military proficiency at all costs, and completely focused on military training and excellence.

It seems that the next logical move in the militarization of our schools in the new United States of Sparta following Trump’s proposal being enacted, would be, for those who feel the need to make their own violent statement to the social environment of their respective school communities, to progress to bomb-making capabilities.

I am, however, also aware of one very significant thing going on behind the scenes. It is the fact that the Progressed Sun of the United States, the Progressed Sun indicating the movement of consciousness identity through the chart, has been moving through the sign of Pisces since 2004, and has been moving into harmony with our more emotionally sensitive and caring planets in Cancer.

Now it is also true that our Progressed Sun has also been squaring our Sagittarian self-image, along with Neptune, as Neptune in the sky is also conjuncting our Progressed Sun. Again, this is all easy to recognize in the confusion, fear and lack of faith challenging everyone, on both sides of the political divide at this time.

I just now checked to see when the U.S. Progressed Sun would reach an exact trine of harmony with our Sun in Cancer. Our Sun is at 13 degrees 22 minutes of Cancer. What I saw just now gave me a chill. The exact trine is happening right now. Our Progressed Sun reached 13 degrees 22 minutes on February 23rd. It will be on that exact minute until March 1st.

The noted Astrologer Liz Greene once said that the Progressed planets indicate the movement in consciousness taking place deep within, and the outer ‘transits’ indicate the means by which that movement is taking place.

So I would say take heart my friends. On the deeper level we are returning to a conscious relationship to our caring, devoted Cancerian Soul. The challenging victim/victimizer transits to our Sagittarian self-image is for the death of that false sense of ourselves so we can reconnect to our essence of who we really are and were meant to be.

It also seems clear to me that Trump and his cohorts are an eruption from the American psyche of our Shadow, the darker elements we prefer not to see or recognize. But these shadow elements need to be seen and recognized, understood, stood up to, but ultimately loved, healed and re-integrated.

It is hard in these confusing, vulnerable times, but I am trying and I encourage you as well to, in whatever way you can, try to Keep the Faith!

Of course all we can do in any given moment is to do our best and let the Great Spirit do the rest.

Blessings,
Steffan Vanel

PS: To aid in the endeavor of keeping faith here is what the Ascended Master Hilarion said about America in the book ‘Nations’:

AMERICA has lost her generosity.

Once, when the world was groaning in the aftermath of a great and terrible war, she stood forth with her riches in her hand, offering them freely to those who had been broken by the strife. She did not refuse to give of herself, of her wealth, of her energy and of her love. What Europe has become today is largely a result of the generosity of the American spirit and the ideals of brotherhood which this country has held so high.

But today America has drawn back and has closed the door to other nations. She has sealed herself behind a wall and refuses to offer help to those less fortunate than herself.

This great country must have its rebirth along with all the rest. In many ways she is the greatest nation the earth has ever known. But she is flawed today by a blindness which has crept into her perception of the world. In the terrible years ahead, although she herself will be preserved almost to the end from the full onslaught, she will see with increasing alarm the destruction and the loss which the baser passions of man will bring.

At last, in an agony of the soul, America will again stand forth with her love, to rescue and nurture the peoples of the world whose nations have collapsed and disintegrated in the terrors that man has brought upon himself. By that act she will again and for all time-be purified. In the new age that will dawn for mankind, America will lead the world as a great and burning beacon of truth, of justice, of peace and of purity.

Astrology of 2018

Note: Watch for a special announcement soon in regard to private consultations with me later this month.
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Dear Friends, Clients, and Subscribers,

I have been working on this article for some weeks now. Obviously we have already entered into 2018 with a flurry of new Donald Trump media-grabbing news. The excerpts from the book: ‘Fire and Fury,’ do seem to confirm many of the observations I made in my lectures now posted on YouTube about him and his Astrological make-up.

What I can note here is that there was a Mars/Jupiter conjunction in Scorpio operative during the weekend that those secret revelations hit the news. Scorpio is secret, hidden emotions, Mars is will and aggressivity, and Jupiter is enthusiastic expansion of your belief system.

It was moving into a square to the Mars in Leo/Leo Ascendant of President Donald Trump. The Leo Ascendant being the pride and arrogance tendencies afforded to someone to compensate for insecurity in previous lives. The Mars in Leo conjuncting that Ascendant is his mode of response whenever that hidden insecurity is attacked, basically to ‘hit ‘em back ten times harder.’

The approaching Jupiter Square to that Leo Ascendant will be exact on November 8th. The Midterm elections are on November 6th. hmm….

I will be following this article with additional newsletters about the impending effects of all of this upon the U.S. Astrological chart and the Astrological chart of Donald Trump in the year ahead.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy what I have written here, which has a bit more of a global perspective of what is happening in 2018.

2018 – An Astrological View

There are some major Astrological shifts occurring this year which will definitely change the flavor of the times we are evolving through. These major shifts, however, feel like a ‘prelude’ or a ‘setting the stage’ for the major alignment of Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn in 2020.

Astrologers have already started to predict that in the future they we will look back and refer to Earth history in terms of before and after 2020. Suffice it to say, there is likely to be a major transformation of the basic structures of global society at that time.

For example, the last time there was a major line-up in Capricorn similar to this was in 1989 at the time of the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and subsequently the Soviet Bloc and the end of the Cold War.

How we prepare ourselves and our societies in the two years leading to 2020 will determine how well prepared we will be for the transformations of 2020. Basically it will determine to what degree we can enter into that period gracefully and to what degree we will have to enter into it ‘kicking and screaming.’

I will, no doubt, be talking about the specifics of 2020 in future articles. To give it a brief description, it feels like the death of the old Patriarchal order of things as we enter the Aquarian Age, Aquarius being the sign following Capricorn into which Pluto will enter in 2024 for the first time in 247 years.

In looking at 2018 we can see that one of the significant trends shifting in 2018 actually took place on December 19, 2017, the day the Republicans signed their tax bill in the Senate. On that very day Saturn moved into Capricorn where it will remain, except for a few months of retrograde, until December of 2020.

Pluto has already entered Capricorn, back in 2008, providing the deep unconscious awareness that the way in which we live materially (financial and otherwise) must go through a major death/rebirth. This has already been spreading through the unconscious psyche of the entire planet, especially as a result of the financial crisis of 2008, but also from the threats of Global Warming, the greater and greater extremes of wealth inequality etc.

Saturn, however, is the planet that binds energy into form. It makes things ‘real.’ When Saturn conjuncts Pluto in Capricorn in 2020 the deep Plutonian unconscious awareness of needed/impending transformations will somehow become ‘real.’

Now, watching what happens when a planet first enters a new sign often provides us with a symbolic omen of the impending journey of that planet though that particular sign

For example, on the day that Uranus entered Aries (beginning a 7 year period) was the day that the Fukushima Nuclear Reactor accident in Japan took place. Aries is a fire sign and has lots of energy. Controlling it can be a challenge. Uranus is the surprise, out of the blue, uncontrollable lightning bolt of change.

The early part of this decade has been largely influenced by seven squares between Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn. Those of you who have been reading my newsletters for some time may be tired of hearing about it. Suffice it to say it is relatable to all of the surprise (Uranus) transformations or efforts of transformation (Pluto) of old structures, hence the ‘Arab Spring,’ ‘Brexit,’ and the host of the TV show ‘The Apprentice’ now being President of the United States of America.

The fact that the Republicans passed their tax bill on the day of Saturn’s entry into Capricorn does seem to bear the quality of an omen, whether you believe that it will stimulate the economy and create jobs, or it simply will benefit the wealthy and balloon the National Debt, I think it is serving as a potent image for what we will be facing in 2020, a serious restructuring in a ‘real’ way of economic structures.

The collective response to that Republican bill in the two years ahead will have a lot to do in determining the ultimate fate in 2020. Obviously, 2020 will be a hell of a year for a Presidential election.

Capricorn, however, is ambitious and self-reliant and responsible and can be used in a powerful determined way in the service of compassion as well as greed, by the political Left as well as the Right.

Saturn rules Capricorn and it is actually about the only largely good place to have Saturn. When I get to interpreting Saturn in someone’s chart I usually preface it by saying ‘Unfortunately everyone has Saturn somewhere.’

Here is what Hilarion* says about Saturn in Capricorn:

Capricorn
In Capricorn, Saturn is in its own sign, and is therefore very strongly placed. In general, all of the positive Saturnian traits will tend to be present, and some of the negative ones depending upon the degree of affliction. The positive traits are those of seriousness, stability, caution, an instinct to seek safe positions, ambition and a strong ability to do well in the world’s terms, i.e. worldly Success. The negative traits are emotional coldness, an over-emphasis on worldly success, hyper-punctuality. The matter of aspects must be carefully judged as the absence of negative aspects will mean that none of the Saturn-in-Capricorn lessons are slated for the life being lived.

Personally I plan to use this Saturn energy to finish at least one of my not yet completed books as well as to ‘concretize’ (A good Saturnian term) some of my other visions and ventures.

But this is what Hilarion says about Saturn/Pluto aspects in general in a natal chart:

Saturn aspects to Pluto are not well understood by present-day astrologers, as these contacts are essentially in the unconscious sphere and only periodically surface into the conscious ego or into the surrounding life-pattern. The meaning of a Saturn/Pluto contact is that of an extremely far-reaching change being required in the individual in this life. It is a change that affects the unconscious sphere deeply. In some manner an attitude, outlook, way of thinking or approach to some area of the life experience must undergo a radical alteration, one which in almost every case will be forced upon the individual by events or circumstances beyond his control. The signs and houses holding the two planets will give an idea of the change that is required. Pluto will usually point to the general area, while Saturn will describe the means by which the change must come.

The last time Pluto was in hard aspect to Saturn was at the time of 9/11, another time where we could talk about history before and after that date.

So this is what we have happening as we approach 2020. One way or another it should give us some 20/20 vision.

There is another approaching Astrological ‘weather pattern’ this year which is also likely to bear upon the financial/political/security themes of our lives. That is the entry of Uranus into Taurus in May of this year, where it will remain, with a brief period of retrograde, for about 7 years. Taurus is also, along with Capricorn, an Earth sign. Taurus is the sign for which the question really is: ‘Are you going to choose the Love or the Money?’

Hilarion says that someone who is born with the Sun in Taurus is someone who has developed a quality of Love at a very high level in previous lives (they are ruled by Venus). Their challenge in this life is to be able to give that love unconditionally. If they have difficulty giving that love it may instead turn back towards themselves, focusing on their senses, or an over-valuing of money, possessions and material security.

So, what results will come from Uranus being in Taurus? Well if we look back in history as to what happened when Uranus was in Taurus before we can see that it was there from 1850 to 1859. This was the beginning of a new phase of the ‘Industrial Revolution.’ In fact, in 1851 we had Uranus, Saturn and Pluto all in Taurus.

Uranus rules technology and there were major technological discoveries in those years, allowing an unprecedented transformation of material existence at that time, and we could expect some similar developments in our current world.

This Industrial Revolution, however, also allowed the accumulation of unprecedented personal wealth, and with that, tremendous political power by certain individuals. In fact, at the end of this period, in February 1859, with Uranus in the very last degree of Taurus, was the first usage of the term: ‘Robber Baron.’

Here is some of the Wikipedia interpretation of the sense and historical usage of this term:

The metaphor appeared as early as February 9, 1859, when The New York Times used it to characterize the unethical business practices by Cornelius Vanderbilt. Historian T.J. Stiles says the metaphor, “conjures up visions of titanic monopolists who crushed competitors, rigged markets, and corrupted government. In their greed and power, legend has it, they held sway over a helpless democracy.”[2] Charles R. Geisst says, “in a Darwinist age, Vanderbilt developed a reputation as a plunderer who took no prisoners.”[3] Hal Bridges said that the term represented the idea that “business leaders in the United States from about 1865 to 1900 were, on the whole, a set of avaricious rascals who habitually cheated and robbed investors and consumers, corrupted government, fought ruthlessly among themselves, and in general carried on predatory activities comparable to those of the robber barons of medieval Europe.”[4]
The term combines the pejorative senses of criminal (“robber”) and aristocrat (“barons” having no legitimate role in a republic). Hostile cartoonists might dress the offenders in royal garb to underscore the offense against democracy.[5]

Saturn was also squaring Pluto at that same time, their first hard aspect to each other since 1851.

The next period we had of Uranus in Taurus was 1934- 1941, the period of the Great Depression. The depression started earlier, during the shocking Uranus in Aries period. The reason the Great Depression was later called the ‘Great Depression’ was because it lasted so long, awareness of which really came to bear during the period of Uranus in Taurus. This created a hunger for and acceptance of radical change in relation to financial economics. It brought Franklin Deleanor Roosevelt to the Presidency and his economic policies called the ‘New Deal’ (very Uranus in Taurus) and brought into being things like Social Security, Child Labor Laws, and Federal Insurance for our bank deposits.

1934-1941 also brought Adolf Hitler to power as he promised, and succeeded, in transforming the German economy. Uranus promises freedom from old patterns, but we can be impulsive as to what price we are willing to pay for that new freedom.

Of course all of this year’s Astrological movements will have its own specific effects on the Astrological Chart of the U.S., your own nation’s Astrological chart, and Donald Trump’s, chart. As I said earlier, I will be writing other articles about the possible effects of this Astrological weather on the U.S. and Donald Trump.

The other sign change of a slower moving planet in 2018 will be Jupiter moving out of Scorpio into its own sign of Sagittarius in November.

We just had two and a half years of Saturn in Sagittarius, which I think has put a serious heavy weight upon our optimistic enthusiasm towards our beliefs and aspirations.

Jupiter moving into Sagittarius right after the Mid-term elections I think will be relatable to whatever enthusiastic ‘rebound’ the Democrats will be feeling from the results of the election.

In fact, Uranus dips back for a few months into Aries, that sign of fiery willful energy, on the day of the election.

Additionally, aside from the usual run of Solar and Lunar Eclipses, there will be some nice harmonizing sextiles between Jupiter in Scorpio and Pluto in Capricorn, on January 15, April 14, and September 12.

I see this as a positive, expansive, Jupiterian enthusiasm willing to dig up secret, hidden, Scorpionic passions and desires, or the abuse thereof, (which we have already been witnessing since Jupiter entered Scorpio in November), but now working with profound Plutonian transformation of old, entrenched Capricornian structures and traditions. Kind of like Oprah Winfry’s speech the other night at the Golden Globe awards, followed by calls for her to run for President.

Jupiter will also start to harmoniously trine Neptune in August, so some of those aspirational prayers may actually be answered.

The outer planets spend a lot of time retrograde, going backwards, this year, so I don’t feel this year will see any really dramatic changes on the global scene.

That being said, the eclipses on July 12 and 28 involve hard aspects to Pluto and Uranus, which could add greatly to the intensity and sudden changeable quality of those events.

As far as how all of this may be affecting your own individual chart, as I said in my note at the beginning, soon I will be making a special announcement, which may interest you.

In the mean time, let us try to remember to choose the love and the faith.

Blessings,
Steffan Vanel

Las Vegas and U.S.

As I am about to write this article I have just come out of a Global Meditation event, staged to help heal the recent energies of trauma created in Las Vegas.

This included helping the souls of those who have had to transition out of their bodies in such an intense, shocking, violent way. And yes, even trying to help the twisted, tortured tragic soul who has created such a hellish experience for himself and others.

I am actually in China right now, so I am looking at this with some distance. From here, however, I can feel the incredulous view of the U.S. the rest of the world holds right now. A view of our repeating on-going traumas of gun related mass shootings, to a President who threatens to destroy another nation before a General Assembly of all of the nations of the world.

Our nation seems to be spinning crazily out of control with violent energies. Hopefully something can be learned from this.

If we look at what is happening to the Astrology chart of the U.S. right now we can see collective lessons we are all being faced with in the community of our nation, and the opportunity to grow from it.

And if we look at the Astrological karma of the shooter, Stephen Paddock, we can also benefit from understanding the implicit in-born energies he was born with and the impending Astrological energies which were coming to bear upon him. From this we can also understand and learn. (His Solar Chart: no birth time or surety about birthplace)

Stephen Paddock Astrology Chart

I was initially going to stay in the comfort of my relative distance from the details of this event. But then as I listened to the news on the English language TV station here they announced Stephen Paddock’s birthdate and I got ‘sucked in.’

I knew immediately that Pluto was moving right now into a square to his Sun in Aries. Someone who is Aries, according to Hilarion*, is someone who, in some previous life, risked their own life to come to the rescue of another individual. As a reward for that courageous act they are given an additional energy, physically, mentally or emotionally.

Their challenge is to be able to express this energy in such a way that it does not harm themselves or others through aggressive, violent behavior.

Pluto squaring the Sun is, in any regard, a time when you have to look deep within yourself. A time to see where are you really coming from. Is it from love or is it from fear?

One author described it this way:

Pluto square Sun transit means you are in for a test of your character for a couple of years. The Sun represents your sense of self, your authority and power. The challenging square aspect from Pluto brings extreme forces in the form of other people and circumstances which mean you have to stand up and be counted.

This can be a time of crisis or breakdown as Pluto totally transforms your ego, identity and life direction. Pluto is basically throwing down a challenge so that you master your own personal power. Pluto can be ruthless in its effect so it can make you ruthless in achieving your goals. Power conflicts are common with this transit and these can be not only with authority figures like the law and bosses, but also in personal relationships. (Astrologyking.com)

And I would say as well that when Pluto squares your Sun, if you have not really been owning the energies of your Sun, of your soul essence, who you really are, then Pluto will force you to, one way or another.

Of course there are numerous other Astrological factors at play here in this man’s chart, too numerous for me to want to devote all of the time and energy it would take to elucidate them all.

To briefly hit the main points, however:

  • Most people know by now that Stephen Paddock’s father was a criminal on the FBI’s top 10 most wanted list. His father, Benjamin Paddock, was in prison for the first three years of his oldest son, Stephen’s, life.
  • When Stephen was 7 (the time of Saturn squaring his natal Saturn) his father was arrested for a string of bank robberies. The neighbor took Stephen swimming while the BFI searched their house. The neighbor later stated to the newspaper: “We’re trying to keep Steve from knowing his father is held as a bank robber. I hardly know the family, but Steve is a nice boy. It’s a terrible thing.”
  • When Stephen Paddock was 15, around the time of Saturn opposing his natal Saturn, his father escaped prison and an FBI poster appeared stating that his father had been diagnosed as psychopathic. That has got to be rather intense for a hormonally-charged teenage Aries boy.

In Stephen Paddock’s natal chart, however, he has an Aquarius Moon opposite to Pluto. This is relatable to the apparent attempt to maintain some cool, detached, airy, Aquarian mental atmosphere in his childhood in order to avoid the deep, dark, hidden intense Plutonian reality of the man who, in part, led to his creation in this life. This is how Hilarion describes the affect of this afflicted Aquarian Moon:

The more afflicted the Moon, the more one will find a sense of emotional control and suppression, even coldness, at the heart level…. there tends to be taken from the early home situation a trait of self-control at the emotional level, a dislike of emotional display or extremes, which can produce a difficulty in the individual’s own later home/marriage pattern, particularly if he becomes involved, as he usually does, with someone who requires more in the way of emotional responsiveness than the Aquarian Moon is prepared to give.

That opposing Plutonian reality to that cool detached afflicted Aquarian Moon never went away from the dynamics and reality of his own unconscious psyche.

And those Saturn transits hitting his own Saturn at 7 and 14? Well his natal Saturn was conjunct Neptune and they are both, Neptune and Saturn, opposite to his Sun in Aries.

The Sun, in Psychological Astrology, represents the Father/Male principle in a chart. Saturn difficultly aspecting the Sun creates a likely restrictive energy involving the relationship with the father. Neptune difficultly aspected to the Sun will create some likely illusion, confusion, delusion, and/or victimhood involving one’s relationship with the father. (For example: Barack Obama has a Sun square Neptune, fatherhood experience in his own childhood.)

Stephen Paddock’s Aries Sun was also square to Uranus, thereby creating a sense of the father that would involve sudden ruptures, and a perhaps crazy unconventionality.

Now early in his life Stephen Paddock chose to be an accountant. Not too exciting, intense or aggressive. More like his cool detached Aquarian Moon and some other factors in his chart.

He worked, however, for a company that became Lockheed Martin, a major military defense contractor. I remember when I happened to be visiting Littleton, Colorado, where the Columbine High School mass shooting took place; I discovered that, although it seemed like a rather idyllic peaceful suburban town, most of the parents in that town worked for Lockheed Martin….

Stephen Paddock’s father, Benjamin, liked to gamble and while he was a fugitive he tried once to run down an FBI agent with his car in, Las Vegas….

So, we have Stephen Paddock, a former accountant moving recently to Las Vegas, gambling sometimes $10,000 up to $30,000 in a day, and starting to collect guns while Pluto was in a period of opposing his Uranus, squaring his Sun and moving into a square to his Neptune and his Saturn. Clearly he was trying to somehow embrace the denied, unintegrated intense reality of his father’s presence in his psyche.

Stephen Paddock really needed deep therapy, intensive meditation or Ayahuasca ceremonies to help him with this. Instead, as Pluto started to hit all of this he chose the violent, explosive Aries way of ‘acting it out.’

If Stephen Paddock had lived in a country where citizens have limited or no access to firearms he may have acted out through some explosive fight with his boss or guys in a bar.

In full disclosure, I myself own a firearm and I have killed with it. Even though I am basically a pacifist/vegetarian, I have a 22 rifle with which I once shot a packrat who had been terrorizing my house all night, every night and was uncatchable by humane ‘catch-em alive’ traps, by traps that kill, and even by poison. (He would build a ‘nest’ of twigs, pine needles and nails on top of the poison!)

I finally took out my rifle and ‘got’ him with one shot. And, I was scared to admit the primal sense of relishing that power and control wielded to me by that weapon, temporarily superseding my compassion for that poor creature.

It does enable me to imagine the potential effect of the force of being in possession of a stockpile of weapons and ammunition with some of those weapons made to be fully automatic upon someone with a dissociated, unstable psyche.

On a lighter note, it does remind me of a comedy routine by the British comedian Eddie Izzard where he repeated the often-repeated statement: ‘Guns don’t kill people. People do.’ To which Eddie replied in that enunciated way that the Brits do so well: ‘Well, I think guns have something to do with it. You can’t just point your fingers and go: bang, bang, bang, bang you’re all dead!’

And for those 2nd Amendment people who always say: ‘Well, if someone in the school was ‘packing heat’ this never would have happened.’ Well, in Las Vegas, in a state with both concealed and open-carry weapon laws, the shooter made sure that he had a distance, and a vantage point, and firepower such that all of those likely handguns in the crowd would be totally useless.

It seems that we are possibly heading towards a nation with metal detectors at all large hotels, public buildings, schools and transportation hubs.

Neptune, up in the sky right now, is squaring the Sagittarian Rising/Ascendant of the United States this year. Sagittarius Rising makes it such that you see yourself as, as Hilarion* says: ‘honest, upright and morally strong, whether true or not.’

Neptune impinging that Sagittarian self-image is creating some ‘illusion, confusion, delusion, and victimhood’ challenges in relation to that normally self-righteous self-image. So I think there is some unease with prior convictions, or an added sense of vulnerability in the way we see ourselves, like the potential for Nuclear War.

The potential benefit of this aspect is to dis-identify with those previously held convictions in order to view them with a non-ego-identified perspective.

Just because an Astrological transit creates this opportunity, however, does not promise that one will benefit from it. There is always going to be resistance, a pushback.

For example, we have ex-Fox TV host Bill O’Reilly posting on his blog in the aftermath of this massacre: “This is the price of freedom.”

There have been many responses, such as this one: “No Bill O’Reilly. Listening to you is the (high) price of freedom. Gun massacres are the price of weak gun laws.”

One last, I feel, poignant Astrological Note:

Stephen Paddock’s Moon was in the 25th degree of Aquarius. The Moon of the U.S.A. is in the 28th degree of Aquarius. The Moon at the moment of the attack Sunday night was in the 26th degree of Aquarius.

The Great American Eclipse was at the 29th degree of Leo, within four degrees of exact opposition to the Moons of Stephen Paddock, the USA, and the Las Vegas Massacre.

Now the US Aquarian Moon has only a positive aspect to it natally and I relate that to the positive Aquarian ideals of freedom and equality the nation was founded upon. And it is unfortunate, but tragedy like this does have the potential to bring us all together as one suffering human family.

The Leo potentially oppositional arrogance to that brother/sisterhood Aquarian potential is, however, evidenced by the previously quoted comment by Bill O’Reilly.

In the spirit of my Libran fairness, however, this arrogance was also evident in the comments of a CBS vice president who was fired after she posted on her Facebook page:

“If they wouldn’t do anything when children were murdered I have no hope that Repugs [sic] will ever do the right thing,” Geftman-Gold continued: “I’m actually not even sympathetic bc [sic] country music fans often are Republican gun toters [sic].”

She has since heartily apologized but of course is now facing numerous death threats.

As I say at my lectures, the self-righteous Sagittarian Rising energies of the U.S. are not limited to the Right Wing. We all have a tendency to be rather obnoxious. It is one reason I really enjoy spending a fair bit of time outside of our country.

I would like to end this article with some wisdom from Hilarion. These are his statements about the nature and experience of karma and reincarnation quoted from his book: ‘Nations’ (which is available as an EBook on Amazon.com).

Blessings,
Steffan Vanel

PS: Even though I am in China right now, I’m not too busy work-wise and would be happy to do Skype readings for anyone who would like that. I can also make free phone calls to the U.S.

From the Introduction by Hilarion to NATIONS

For these things are not governed by chance.

Many imagine that pure hazard decrees where one shall be born, and then they blame an unjust God for His cruelty. Others are so appalled by the suffering that they retreat into apathy. Yet others – often prompted by murky religious concepts – think that some sort of ‘plan’ is being worked out, but are not able to explain that plan in a satisfactory manner.

The key that is missing – the link that can unite all of the apparent chaos and suffering into a just and plausible scheme – is the concept that each individual born into the earth is merely taking on a new physical body (one of many) and that his habits and actions in previous bodies have determined the opportunities and the hardships which are his now.

It is deplorable that the main western religions have turned their backs upon this truth – a truth which was part of the credo of most early Christian writers until the Council of Nicea voted to erase all scriptural reference to reincarnation. (Even so, they did not dare to tamper with Jesus’ own statement that John the Baptist was the reincarnation of Elias – Matthew 11:14 and Mark 9:11-13.)

What we are saying is that a proper grasp of the principle of rebirth – and the related principle of karma – not only makes reality understandable, but shows God to be just. We see in the near future a great excitement among humanity as the truth of reincarnation gradually spreads among all peoples. Indeed, numerous individuals already acknowledge this principle without even admitting it to themselves. How many have said, in a moment of exasperation, “What did I ever do to deserve this?” Were they not stating the very law of karma upon which cosmic justice rests? It is the same law which Christ was evoking when He said that those who live by the sword must die by the sword. If this statement were taken to refer only to a single life, it would be manifestly untrue – for have not many murderers died peacefully in their beds? Yet, seen in the light of the rebirth principle, the dictum makes far more sense. It asserts that justice shall follow the murderer even if it does not work itself out in the same life in which the misdeed was committed. In some incarnation, now or later, he himself must ‘die by the sword’.

An interesting facet of this karmic principle is its great effectiveness in teaching humanity to have compassion. Let us explain this point more fully.

Everyone is generally aware of the fact that, in ages past, human beings tended to be very calloused and unfeeling towards each other. At the time of Jesus, for example, there was little respect for human life, hardly any consideration for the suffering of another, and absolutely no feeling of any kind for the animals. Children were regularly beaten, tied up, even hung on the wall to keep them out of an adult’s way. A soldier would think nothing of running his sword through a passing stranger, merely to determine whether the cutting edge were still sharp.

These inhuman attitudes persist even today in many of the darkened places of the earth. And yet, particularly in the western democratic nations, one finds many individuals who are polite and considerate, and who feel it deeply when others around them are suffering. This is the essence of compassion. The word literally means ‘to suffer with’ another. This trait has also been called empathy.

It might surprise the earth’s compassionate individuals to learn that their empathetic nature arises because of their own previous suffering! In effect, what happens when one perceives another person in pain is the rekindling of a memory of one’s own previous painful episodes – whether in this life or in a previous one. Hence what one feels initially is a memory-pain which is evoked by the suffering of the other person.

Some individuals merely feel the empathy – they ‘suffer with’ the person who is undergoing the pain. But others are prompted by their own pain-memories to try to relieve the suffering. Initially the person may do this because by relieving the suffering in the other, the source of his own pain-memory will be removed. But repeated episodes of such help will gradually become ingrained into the individual as a habit of compassionate kindness, and the result will eventually be to incorporate that wonderful trait into the soul itself.

It is thus that the karmic necessity to suffer the same pain we have caused others brings with it ‘an automatic antidote to the kind of attitude that gives rise to the karma in the first place. Think of it as a progression: in the primitive stage, the soul is darkened, insular and lacking in empathy; a life is lived during which pain is caused to others through violent actions. In subsequent lives, the soul inhabits bodies which are made to suffer the same pain which the soul once meted out to others. As a result of that karmic ‘meeting of the self’, the soul stores pain-memories which can be evoked by witnessing similar suffering. Finally, the soul has become so sensitized by pain that it reacts immediately to any scenario in which another is seen to be suffering. At first the soul is simply overcome with ‘com-passion’, i.e. it ‘suffers with’ the other. Perhaps the soul will wish to leave the presence of the sufferer in order to stop its own pain-memories. But at a more mature point, the soul learns to reach out a helping hand to relieve the suffering.

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Muhammad Ali: Some Astrological Perspectives

Muhammad Ali - 1967
Muhammad Ali – 1967

Dear Friends and Clients,

Today was the funeral for Muhammad Ali and I thought I would do some research and share some observations with you.

I grew up knowing about Cassius Clay, who later became Muhammad Ali. He was kind of an outrageous character at a time when there were few outrageous characters in the U.S., of any race. To be so outspoken, so proud, so out-front arrogant was pretty amazing in those days.

He refused to go to Vietnam when I was only 15 in 1966. I was just beginning to become a hippy, just starting to feel the winds of protest. In 1966, refusing to go to Vietnam was still pretty radical.

I was never into boxing and I am not an African American, so his influence on me was more at a distance. As I became more and more radicalized myself, however, I came to admire Muhammad Ali, along with anyone with the courage to ‘buck the system.’

I have also noticed in the Astrology charts of those a fair bit older than me (I’m born in 1951), but nonetheless opened to the unconventional energies of the 60’s, that they often have really dynamic outer planet aspects in their charts. In my view, they needed that in order to break free from the conventional programming they grew up with, whereas through my own early life experiences I can say that I stopped believing in the ‘straight’ conventional world when I was quite young.

Muhammad Ali definitely had a lot of dynamic outer planet aspects, especially with Uranus and Pluto, about which Astrologer Alan Oken once said: “With Pluto it is: Change or die!, to which Uranus says: Yeah right!”

I am not going to write a really lengthy detailed analysis of Muhammad Ali’s chart, but I did want to share a few key Hilarion* insights that give some perspective into what made this man ‘tick.’

He was a Capricorn and you can definitely feel that he had that dedicated, self-reliant, material ambition of Capricorn. He told his friend when he was a young child that he knew he was going to be really successful and was going to buy himself and his momma a big house.

As an Astrologer, however, when one contemplated the character and behavior of Muhammad Ali you knew there had to be some Leo energy in there somewhere. Well sure enough, I have yet another name to add to my list of George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, Prince Charles, Al Gore and, more recently, Donald Trump. They all have Leo Rising.

For those of you who don’t remember what Hilarion says about Leo Rising, which I shared last in the Donald Trump article, here it is again:

Leo When the sign Leo rises, there will be a tendency for the self-picture to be colored by the notions of elegance, specialness and superiority. A proudness will often be felt internally, even though it usually does not manifest. The reason for giving this Ascendant to an individual is to prompt him to think better of himself than he is in the habit of doing when in incarnation. The rulership by the Sun thus lends to the individual certain bolstering influences in terms of how he sees himself, which are intended to teach him not to underestimate his own worth and not to feel inferior to others. In view of this explanation, it will be understood that those with Leo rising will often find that they are torn between thinking little and thinking a lot of themselves. Through the experience of this inner battle, it is hoped that they will ultimately learn that each person is complete and worthy in his own right, and that none are either superior or inferior.

So often it seems that Leo Rising people are more Leo than Leo’s. That inner insecurity being compensated by Leonine arrogance and pride can really make them want to ‘come out fighting.’

Additionally, Ali had Mars in his 9th House square to his Sun in Capricorn, and square to Pluto in the 12th House. This is what Hilarion says about Mars in the 9th House:

Ninth House Mars in the ninth house lends an aura of strength to the moral righteousness of the individual. He is a crusader for “justice” — whether for people, animals, nature or whatever. There is little to be learned here, except to moderate the extremes of this tendency

And what Hilarion says about Pluto in the 12th House:

Twelfth House When Pluto is located in the house of the subconscious as affected by past-life experience, the meaning is basically that the most recent life was one which witnessed a number of radical changes in the soul. Its attitudes, habits and typical associations when incarnated likely went through a number of profound revisions. As a result, the present personality may be somewhat apprehensive and timid, having only recently adopted many of its present traits. Not having a long string of comparable earth personalities to back it up, the present personality will feel “out on a limb”, hesitant and uncertain. The analyst can help such an individual by explaining that many positive changes were made in the most recent life-experience, and that the present traits of the individual represent a definite step forward in the soul’s evolution.

Pluto being square to Mars indicates the likelihood of violence in that last lifetime.

The Sun in Capricorn in the 3rd corner of this tense ‘T-Square’ was in the 6th House of work, service, activity in the world.

I would say that it was this moral righteousness of Mars in the 9th, combined with the self-reliant, ambition of the Sun in Capricorn in the 6th, and the intense transformation in his last lifetime with Pluto in his 12th House, that made him really ‘fired up’ when he was a child and was refused a drink of water in a store in Louisville because he was black. It was also the desire to physically attack whoever had stolen his bicycle when he was 12 that led him to being told by a Louisville police officer and boxing coach that he better learn to box first.

Now Ali also had his Sun in Capricorn harmoniously trine to Uranus in the 10th House of ‘Role in the World.’ This made him comfortable playing an unconventional role. He also had Jupiter in the 10th House with only positive aspects, usually an indicator of ‘success in one’s career.’

The unconventional Uranus and ambitious Sun in Capricorn are also both harmoniously trined to Neptune. This became more evident as he became older, going deeper into his religion and the compassionate acts of service he was later noted for.

His role as a victim of Parkinson’s disease is perhaps relatable to the deep Plutonian undermining of his powerful Sun/Mars energies. Remember Alan Oken re: Pluto?: Change or die!

Having Parkinson’s pulled him out of the orbit of the Mars/Sun/Pluto intensity and allowed him to open more to the potential of the Neptunian compassionate service and healing.

So, that is the essence of what I wanted to share with you today.

Blessings,
Steffan Vanel