Scorpio Last Quarter Moon, Mercury in Pisces and highlight on the Asteroids goddesses

Today, February 15 2012, is the yearly Last Quarter Moon in Scorpio, significant phase for Scorpio but also for the other Fixed Signs, Taurus, Leo and Aquarius, not only if your Sun is in one of these Signs but also if the Moon, a planet, the Lunar Nodes or one of the four Angles happened to be there at the time of your birth, in particular between the 24th and 26th degrees of the same.

This is ideal time for some deep soul searching, penetrating to the core of any emotional problems you may be experiencing. No good trying to gloss these feeling over or escape them by getting busy with other things. The Scorpio Last Quarter is a wonderful opportunity to truly understand where all that emotional stuff is coming from, the root causes of it, because discovering those will be a great step toward healing them. The opposition of the Moon to powerful Algol, beta star of Perseus, also known as Medusa’s Head, at the time of the phase,  stresses the need to tackle old resentments and fears that may be disturbing our psyche and stopping us from loving each other the right way. It is time to liberate ourselves from darkness and open up to the light. The forming 90 degrees angle between Venus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn (exact on February 16) also stresses the need to fight the darkness with light, and to act upon those negative feelings which are the enemies of love.

To help with this, Mercury has moved into Pisces and became conjunct Neptune yesterday, February 14. The transit in Pisces will last until March 4, becoming active again between March 24 and April 17, due to Mercury’s Retrogradation (starting on March 12 when Mercury will be in Aries), a protracted opportunity to experience the psychic openness and mental fluidity of this watery Sign.  The transit of Mercury in Pisces and his current conjunction to Neptune could help us, during this Scorpio Moon phase, to avoid getting obsessed with emotional issues and bogged down by them. Pisces can always encourage us to go with the flow of things, to surrender to what cannot be changed and to find spiritual meaning in our experiences,  including the most trying ones.

Adding an interesting aspect to today’s Astrology the Asteroids Goddesses Vesta (Greek Hestia), Ceres (Demeter), Pallas (Athena) and Juno (Hera) are involved in important transits: Vesta in late Pisces is in trine to the Moon in late Scorpio, while the Moon will conjunct Juno after entering Sagittarius. Ceres is conjunct Venus in Aries and both are in square to Pluto in Capricorn, while Pallas is just separating from Mercury and Neptune in early Pisces . The highlight on the Asteroids makes this a very suitable couple of days for cultivating relationships amongst women and to honor the feminine in both men and women. The four major Asteroids in fact represent different aspects of the feminine: Ceres the maternal, Juno the lover/spouse, Pallas the filial and Vesta the sisterly aspect.

Click HERE To view my recent post on Venus’ transit through Aries (February 8 to March 5).

Click HERE for a description of the functions ascribed to the four major Asteroids in one of my Living Moon Tutorial Pages.

JESSICA WATSON, young Medusa and Venus with the Moon

As many Sydney residents and visitors are anxiously waiting for the return into Sydney harbour of Jessica Watson, the sixteen years old who has been sailing around the world solo, I have been scouring the net to find her date and time of birth. I managed to find the date, but so far, no time. If anyone has this information I would appreciate it.

Missing the birth-time I have cast a Sunrise Chart for the day and place of birth, usually my choice in such cases. You can find her Sunrise Chart at the bottom of this post or here.

The Birth Chart of this modern heroine has not disappointed.

Jessica was born with the Sun and Mercury in Earthy Taurus, one of the most determinate and even obstinate Sign of the Zodiac. To add to this her Sun and Mercury were also in opposition to Pluto in her Natal Chart, an indication of resourcefulness and even ruthlessness. She has the power to make things happen and a great charisma, but she could also attract enmity in her life, getting involved in tugs of war or battles of will with other people.

She has needed indeed all her staying power and ability to withstand opposition with firm resolve to get through the difficulties and antagonism she faced at first, when she decided to sail. It looked as if it would not go ahead. She persisted and went through with it.

Saturn was also in aspect to her Natal Sun and Mercury, with a perfect 90 degrees angle (square) to Mercury and forming square with the Sun, while at right angle with transiting Pluto too (T square). This shows the more ambitious side of Jessica’s character. With Saturn so prominent she is out to prove something, to become an authority in her own right.  And she will work very hard to achieve her goal.  A ‘father complex’ of some description works to push her constantly ahead of herself, for ever trying to out-do herself to gain approval. Strong self-criticism will always help Jessica to counter-act the more boisterous aspects of her personality, anchoring her down to the earth plane. She may have already a bit of the workaholic in her. Both Sun and Mercury are in the last Decan (ten degrees) of Taurus belonging to Capricorn, Saturn’s Sign, giving more power to this serious, responsible and ambitious energy. Saturn in Aquarius also suggests someone who may feel fundamentally alone, no matter how many friends and admirers her popularity may gain her.

Her Mind Planet, Mercury, was in transition from Taurus to Gemini, at the time of her birth, an interesting cusp, giving Jessica both the mental concentration and practical outlook of Mercury in Taurus and some of the versatility, quickness and manual dexterity of Mercury in Gemini.

Apart from the all important aspects to Pluto-Saturn the Sun and Mercury are also forming a trine to Jupiter in Libra. This is a traditionally fortunate influence, giving Jessica support from high places, with persons of importance and influence helping her advance her career. Jupiter also adds more confidence to her carachter and a positive outlook on life. Jupiter’s position in the Houses of her Horoscope will provide more information on this placement, when her time of birth becomes known.

The Moon and Venus’ positions in Aries surprised astrologers the least, because this is the Sign of pioneers and brave, often fearless men and women who are able to open new ground, daring to follow their passion, no matter what everyone else think. The function of the Ram in the Zodiac is to push ahead of all the other Signs, to lead them into uncharted territories, with the innocence and self-centredeness of a child. Adventure and conquest appeal to these types who need to exert a lot of physical energy in order to find calm and be able to relax. Aries is one of the most active Sign, even restless at time, constantly in search of new excitement.  Taurus will keep this fiery energy well grounded and somewhat slow it down too, a plus for Jessica, adding purpose to her need for activity and challenge.

So Jessica has a strong, direct, uncompromising personality and, like many girls with these sorts of placements, she a bit of a tom boy, competitive and pugnacious. The Moon and Venus are found in the Leo Decan of Aries. This is Jessica’s more playful and histrionic side that may lap up the accolades. The Leo Mars adds considerably to her courage, pride and desire to have as much fun as possible. In this fiery Sign Mars also denotes a strong will, self-centredeness if not selfishness, and the potential to shine and become successful. This is confirmed by the harmonious and well wishing Grand Trine (providing both talents and opportunities) between Mars in Leo, the Moon-Venus in Aries and the Lunar North Node in Sagittarius. The position of this Node, the one that points to the future of the individual, in the Sign of quests and adventures, Sagittarius, just makes this configuration so perfect considering Jessica’s achievements.

To add to the whole configuration I noted that also Ceres (Greek Demeter), the largest asteroid, was in Aries and also conjunct Venus and the Moon. Ceres was the Goddess of the Harvest, insuring fertility of the soil and of people, one of the most ancient ever worshipped in Greece and other countries. In her myth the determination of Ceres/Demeter to see her abducted daughter Persephone returned to her was unshakable, bringing her to deprive the planet of rains and harvest, condemning people to starvation, rather than renounce her wish. So Demeter is another symbol of woman’s strength and personal power. The figure of Ceres/Demeter has also been connected to environmental issues of our present times, the growing awareness of the need to respect and live in harmony with our Mother Earth. It is possible that the three-Godesses’ Aries conjunction will prompt Jessica to embrace environmental issues and perhaps become an international campaigner for environmental and wild life protection.

By one of those amazing coincidences (the mysterious phenomenon of synchronicity often revealed to us through Astrology) on May 16, the day she is landing back in Australia and two days before her 17th birthday, the transiting Moon and Venus will again be conjunct (together) as at the time of her birth, but this time in Gemini. It will be actually an occultation of Venus by the Moon in certain parts of the world (see Eye on the Southern Sky’s page for a snapshot of this event), meaning a conjunction during which the disk of the Moon (a tiny crescent in this case) will hide (occult) for a while the bright evening star Venus. This is a great symbol for Jessica’s life in general (her birth conjunction) but also a testimony of the brightness and beauty of her triumph at the present time. A star may have indeed been born. Searching further into the history of the occultations of Venus by the Moon I found out that in 1993, the year Jessica was born, one of such occultations occurred on April 19, just a month previous her birth, also in Aries!

With all her navigational skills in handling a boat and obvious love of the sea, in Jessica’s Chart the Water Element is not too strongly emphasised.  This means that she is not overly emotional and may even be difficult for her to understand strongly emotional people. She may also experience problems understanding her own feelings and depth, tending too often to brush them aside.

So from where her passion for sea voyages stems in her Birth Chart? There got to be a specific indicator, not just the generic ones of courage, love of adventure, questing spirit (Aries Moon-Venus-Ceres trine North Node Sagittarius trine Mars in Leo trine Venus-Moon-Ceres, Sun-Mercury trine Jupiter). I have found this Oceanic signature in the positions of Saturn, cusp Aquarius/Pisces, and Uranus-Neptune in Capricorn. Here we have two Mutual Receptions (Saturn-Uranus and Saturn-Neptune) and a very significant generational conjunction (Uranus-Neptune). Mutual Reception is a term indicating two or more planets occupying each other Signs, thus creating synergy (Wikipedia = a synergy is where different entities cooperate advantageously for a final –mutual – outcome).

In Jessica’s Birth Chart these planets are Uranus in the Earth Sign of Capricorn ruled by Saturn, and Saturn in the Airy Sign of Aquarius, ruled by Uranus. Due to the fact that Saturn is on the last degree of the Sign Aquarius (Anaretic or Cusp Pisces) this planet is also in Mutual Reception to Neptune, because Pisces is Neptune’s Sign. The Mutual Reception Uranus-Saturn provides Jessica with the potential to integrate Saturn’s practicality with Uranus’ genius for discovery and unorthodox, non linear  thinking. The Mutual Reception between Saturn and Neptune, on the other hand, could help her integrate the down to earth approach to life of Saturn and the loftier, idealistic and romantic Neptunian drive, this being the planet of Dreams and Inspiration, aiding her to manifest her dreams and ideals into reality.

Even more remarkable is the fact that now, as she concludes her voyage, the transiting Neptune is becoming conjunct her Natal Saturn (cups Aquarius-Pisces), while the transiting Uranus, close to enter Pisces at the end of May 2010, is now in perfect semi-sexile (30 degrees distance) from her Saturn. Both these Transits are greatly stimulating the two Mutual Receptions I discussed before.

Of course of great interest here is the historical conjunction in Capricorn of Uranus (Sky God) and Neptune (Sea God), the aspect manifested in the whole generation of young people born between 1988 and 1995. In the words of Alan Meece, an expert in Generational Astrology, these are “The committed ones (Generation Y-b, Uranus conjunct Neptune in Capricorn, Pluto in Scorpio). This is a group with outstanding potential. It is a very precocious generation, but won’t burn itself out in youth. They are steady, persistent, determined, ambitious and passionate. They have great talent in the arts, politics and organization, and they may be the great leaders who lay down lasting foundations for a new age of civilization. On the other hand, some might consider them too cold, calculating, rigid, worldly or obsessed with their own goals.” I found the article that contains this paragraph here.

Well, after reading this, Jessica seems to embody really well the spirit of her generation!

The conjunction of Vesta and Pallas, two Goddess Asteroids, in the Sign of Pisces seems also a fitting symbol for Jessica’s passion for the sea and her commitment (Vesta) to remain loyal to it throughout her life. Like the conjunction Moon-Venus-Ceres this conjunction too points to the possibility of Jessica becoming an environmental warrior or activist.

To conclude this astrological portrait of Jessica Watson, I like to point out the fact that the Sun in Taurus in her Birth Chart was conjunct in longitude to Algol, the binary star, alpha of Perseus. This Star was depicted by the ancient Greek sea travelers as the severed head of the monster-woman Medusa, in the hand of her slayer, the Solar Hero Perseus. Now this is a star that has very much interested me and about which I talked at length in some of my previous posts, mainly in reference to natural and man-made disasters (if interested, please type Algol in the search box to find all those articles). We cannot deny here that traditionally this star hasn’t received the best press, but has been considered rather dangerous, being held responsible for creating mayhem and generating violence. Fixed Stars’ interpretations from ancient sources paint many of them in very dark colours, identifying them as cause of much pain and suffering for human kind. We got to remember however that also other astrological factors were in the past considered wholly negative and irredeemable. Squares or Oppositions from Mars or Saturn, for instance, were certain harbingers of doom and gloom. In our modern times we have gained a more rounded knowledge of everything astrological, so that to us present-time seekers a square from Saturn or a conjunction with Algol may still be seen as difficult, but are also viewed as opportunities for great experiences and for growth of spiritual awareness.

All Stars are living lights, therefore symbols of spirit: the light we receive from them coming not only from the depth of space but the depth of time as well, a chain in the endless circle of life, past, present and future. How a Star can be evil?

Medusa (Algol) is for us modern people a symbol of the way female power was perceived in the patriarchal societies from which our own western culture stemmed. The Goddess of the Neolithic, having lost her power to the patriarchal male Gods brought by conquering tribes in search of new lands and resources, was in a few centuries transformed from a life-giving Mother into a Goddess of Death and Malice. Women’s power to generate and nurture life  was more and more vilified and made inferior to the loftier Gods who resided in the sky, far away from human concerns. It didn’t take very long to create the terrible gulf between Nature and Spirit that still divides our modern psyche. Medusa with all her terrible attributes needed to be killed by the male hero, but her legacy of power survived in historically more recent versions of the Goddess, like in Pallas Athena, daughter of Jupiter, who used to carry with her a shield over which she had placed the powerful head of Medusa, to help her in her war against injustice.

In modern times Medusa is again changing. Now we tend to view her as the embodiment of feminine power, not wicked, but creative and passionate. In my post on the Haiti Earthquake I wrote: “Algol-Medusa is a power Star and one that many can indeed wear as a badge of honour and charisma, and not a mark of doom or a sign of wickedness. It is described by modern astrologers Bernadette Brady and Diana Rosenberg as: feminine wisdom, creative power, consuming passion, intense sexuality; confrontation and then assimilation of the  dark side of life and human nature.”

In male-oriented societies certainly the power of the feminine will be considered evil and punished whenever it tries to raise its head. And even in more liberated places, like the Western world, we still view women in a certain way, a different way that we view men, if unconsciously. And this is indeed true for both men and women. Proof of it, I feel, is even in the applause and big deal we are making in Australia about this girl’s achievements. Would we go so much over the top if a sixteen years old boy had obtained the same goal? Probably no. The fact that it was a girl, sailing on a boat called Pink Lady, seems particularly special, because obviously girls are not supposed to do these things, to be fearless and not afraid to be alone in the dark. She is considered a rare exception

It is like the hidden racism in people who are not racist at all in priciple, but find an exceptional event the fact that a black man has been elevated to the United States’ presidency. Would we really be surprised if black men and women had had the same rights as white men and women from the beginning? No, we would not, because we wouldn’t see the difference.

With this powerful star on her Sun Jessica can embody for the world the power of the feminine, women’s courage, independence and resourcefulness.

Below is Jessica’s Natal Chart calculated for Sunrise on her date of birth, in Buderim, the Ginger growing capital of Australia.

I still don’t have Jessica’s time of birth that will provide me with the Signs occupying the Horizon and Meridian axis (her Ascendant-Descendant and Midheaven-Lower-Heaven).

Added at a later date: if interested in Jessica’s story, please check HERE for my post on the Transits and Progressions active for her at the time she received the Young Australian of The Year Award. 



Pablo Picasso’s Guernica, an Algol event.

The Fixed Stars make a fascinating study. Their stories are the often broken and many times mended remains of the ancient myths, beliefs and rituals that were important, even vital to our ancestors. They still resonate with us because they contain archetypal material we can all recognize and identify with.

Here I have collected, from my own data base and various other sources (see bottom of page), a short list of people and events whose Horoscopes are somehow connected with Algol, the Gorgon Head’s Star, beta of constellation Perseus, the Star that has proven so significant in the Astrology of the Haiti’s earthquake.

For a summary of Medusa’s story and an explanation of this Star’s dark reputation please refer to my previous post.

The list talks for itself, in most cases there is no need of further explanation.

I feel however that a word of warning is necessary here. The presence of Algol-Medusa over the Sun, Moon, or any Planet or Angle in someone’s Natal or Progressed Chart, or in a Chart cast for a specific event (wedding, holiday departure, purchase of land, court hearing, surgery, etc.) is not by itself a sign of gloom and doom. The entire Chart conjures a picture that is always complex and multilayered, and, like any other factor in a Horoscope, Fixed Stars should never be considered in isolation. The Haiti’s earthquake is a great example of this, because many factors contributed to the tragic outcome, and Algol didn’t just appear in one Chart, but in three separate Charts related to the event, always on sensitive points and only allowing tight orbs.

What seems to have conjured up the Haiti’s tragedy are a combination of massive planetary alignments, the blend of Eclipses and Fixed Stars and other very special quirks of fate, like the Lunar Eclipse occurring on Haiti’s Solar Return Birthday and Haiti’s seventh Saturn Return since independence active right at this time.

I feel this precautionary note is necessary because there is a real risk through the use of Fixed Stars to generate superstition and fears. The language and imagery that are associated with some of these asterisms are often dramatic and ominous. The same is true however of a lot of old fashion Astrology, with its accent on good and bad aspects, benefic and malefic Planets etc.

Algol-Medusa is a power Star and one that many can indeed wear as a badge of honour and charisma, and not a mark of doom or a sign of wickedness. It is described by modern astrologers Bernadette Brady and Diana Rosenberg as: feminine wisdom, creative power, consuming passion, intense sexuality; confrontation and then assimilation of the  dark side of life and human nature.

I have considered squares and opposition from/to Algol/Medusa and not just conjunctions, as it is usually the rule with Fixed Stars, because they seem to be relevant in many cases. It is indeed possible, as Diana Rosenberg suggests, that other Stars are responsible for the effects we sometimes attributed to square and opposition from Algol. I included in this list also Capulus, the Star that represents the tip of Perseus’ Sword (the one that killed Medusa) because it is close to Algol and seems to be significant not just for the myth but for Astrology too.


Agatha Christie: Capulus conjunct Mid-Heaven.

Albert Einstein: Algol conjunct Pluto.

Albrecht Durer: Algol conjunct Mid-heaven.

Alistair Crowley, occultist: Capulus conjunct Pluto.

Anastasia Romanov: Algol conjunct South Node.

Arthur Rubenstein: Algol conjunct Neptune.

Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran’s religious leader: Algol conjunct Sun.

Azaria Chamberlain: Algol in wide conjunction with the Moon (one and half degrees).

Bob Dylan: Algol conjunct Uranus.

Bob Dylan, Algol conjunct Uranus.

Brian Jones (first Rolling Stone): Algol conjunct Uranus.

Carl Gustav Yung: Algol conjunct Pluto.

Cecil B. De Mill: Algol conjunct Jupiter.

Che Guevara: Capulus conjunct Sun.

Christine Keller, a call girl, who was implicated in one of the deepest political scandals of the 1960s, the Profumo affairs (from the name of the then British Defence Minister): Algol conjunct Moon and Jupiter.

Elvis Presley: Algol square Saturn.

Evita Peron: Algol conjunct Sun and Capulus conjunct Mars.

Ezra Pound: Algol conjunct Neptune.

Grace Kelly: Algol opposition Mars.

Frank Kafka: Algol conjunct Mars.

George Bernard Shaw: Algol conjunct Uranus.

George Gurdjieff: Algol conjunct Neptune.

Henry Fonda: Algol conjunct Sun.

Hirohito, emperor of Japan when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed: Algol square Mars and in wide conjunction to South Node.

Hugh Hefner: founder of the magazine Playboy: Algol opposition Saturn, a strange placement for a self-confessed hedonist!

Isadora Duncan, Algol conjunct Pluto.

Jean Paul Sartre: Algol conjunct Jupiter.

Jim Morrison: Algol conjunct Lower-Heaven.

John Calvin, Protestant reformer: Algol conjunct Moon.

John Lennon: Algol conjunct Uranus.

Joan of Ark, burnt at the stake: Algol conjunct Saturn.

Johnny Depp: Algol conjunct Venus.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy: Algol conjunct Jupiter.

Joseph Stalin: Algol conjunct Pluto.

Leonardo da Vinci: Algol conjunct Lower-Heaven.

Marshall Herff Applewhite, cult leader who convinced 39 of his followers to commit mass suicide: Algol conjunct Sun and Capulus conjunct the Moon (born just before New Moon). This is one striking example!

Mata Hari: Algol conjunct Pluto.

Mick Jagger: Algol conjunct Moon.

Natalie Wood: Algol conjunct South Node.

Oliver Cromwell: Algol conjunct Mercury.

Pablo Picasso: Algol conjunct Jupiter.

Patrick Swayze: Algol square Sun and opposition Mars.

Prince William: Algol conjunct Venus, same as his mum, and also conjunct Chiron.

Ramakrishna: Algol conjunct North Node.

Richard Nixon: Algol conjunct Saturn.

Robert Hoppenheimer, reluctant father of the atomic bomb: Algol conjunct Mercury.

Saddam Hussein: Mercury conjunct Capulus, the sword of Perseus, and one degree from Algol.

Salvador Dali: Mars conjunct Algol.

Steven King: Algol conjunct North Node and opposition Jupiter.

Ted Bundy, serial killer: Algol opposition Mercury, which was also conjunct Venus in Scorpio.

Thomas Watt Hamilton, serial killer: Algol opposition Moon, both square the Moon’s Nodes.

Vladimir Ilich Lenin: Algol conjunct Jupiter.


Saint Bartholomew’s Massacre, August 24 1572: Algol opposition Mars.

Sinking of the Lusitania, May 8 1915: Algol conjunct Mercury.

San Francisco’s earthquake on April 18, 1906. Capulus conjunct Mars.

Bombardment of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War, April 26 1937: Algol conjunct Mercury.

Picasso, with natal Jupiter on Algol, painted the famous Guernica soon after the event. The whole picture to me reveals the meaning and creative potential of Algol better than a lot of words.

Caracas’ earthquake on March 12, 1912: Algol opposition Uranus.

Tokyo’s earthquake on January 1 1855: Capulus conjunct North Node.

State of Israel: Capulus, Perseus’ sword, conjunct the Sun.

Port Arthur massacre: Algol conjunct Mid-Heaven and Mercury.

Great Sites on Fixed Stars, Eclipses etc.

Ed Tamplin’s

Diana Rosenberg’s

Anne Wright’s

Anton Grigoryev’s

Giuseppe Bezza’s:

For an astronomical view of Algol:

And to become aware of an amazing coincidence (top synchronicity in action) please look up these astronomical sites too, because they describe a phenomenon, defined as a Magnetic Loop, emanating from the Binary Star Algol. This has been discovered only recently and was made public on the 14th of January, as far as I know, two days after the Haiti’s earthquake!*




In this post I am again looking at the January 2010 Eclipses in their relation to the Haiti’s earthquake and its aftermath, but this time I’ll study each eclipse as one of a series.

All Eclipses are grouped under one specific number, known as their Saros number. This number indicates eclipses (Lunar or Solar) occurring around the same degree of the Zodiac. A Saros group begins with a particular eclipse, either Lunar or Solar. Other eclipses follow, at an interval of 18 years approximately, all falling around the same degree of longitude.

So, for instance, the Partial Lunar Eclipse of December 31 2009 belonged to the Saros number 115. This group of Lunar Eclipses began with one on April 21 1000 AD, 1010 years ago, the beginning of another Millennium.

The Eclipse that begins a series is said to give its colour, tone and vibration to the lot of them. Therefore it is very important to study the first Eclipse of a Saros series, especially when it is obviously linked to a major event, like the Haiti’s earthquake.

Below is the Chart of that ancient Eclipse, calculated for the Haiti coordinates in order to be relevant for that part of the world:

Click to enlarge

To a trained astrological eye this appears as a rather difficult Horoscope, interlaced by a Grand Cross in Fixed Signs (LINK to Aspects Tutorials), connecting The Sun in Taurus, conjunct the Ascendant, the Scorpio Moon, conjunct Pluto and the Descendant, Mars in Leo and also, in Haiti, the Aquarius Mid-Heaven and Leo Lower-Heaven, two very active angles in the Horoscope.

There is immense pent up energy in this configuration, with a strong tinge of violence and compulsion. Even without the eclipse this would have been a remarkable Full Moon! Sort of were-wolfish, passionate, deep, uncompromising, dangerous, wilful; suggesting war, blood, aggression, transformation, resentment, revengefulness, power struggles. To add to the intensity of this configuration Saturn is also transiting Taurus, the Sun Sign. This Sign is traditionally considered the most dangerous for seismic activities, because it is Earthy and because it is Fixed, resisting external pressure until something has to give. Both Taurus and its opposite-complementary Sign, Scorpio, were known as Violent Signs, and one of the reason was their connection to earth’s tremors.


The most interesting Saturn’s feature is not however its challenging position in Taurus, nor the fact that it didn’t form any exact aspect with the other celestial bodies at the time of the Eclipse, often a negative connotation. But it is rather the specific degree the Planet was on, the same, in 1000 AD, as the Star Algol, beta of Constellation Perseus. This Star is considered to be one of the most powerful and potentially dangerous in the whole pantheon of Stars.

This Saturn-conjunction with Algol could have been enough to consider the Star a significant character in this Lunar Eclipses’ series. But there is more.

Algol re-appears in a very prominent place not only in the Lunar Eclipse of December 31 2009 (conjunct the Ascendant in Haiti and perfectly square  transiting Jupiter), but also in the Solar Eclipse of January 15 2010 (conjunct the Descendant in Haiti and trine transiting Sun, Moon and Venus in Capricorn)!

Furthermore the present longitudes of Algol and Capulus, another Star belonging to the same constellation, are in opposition to Haiti Birth Chart’s Neptune, while Capulus was conjunct the Taurus Ascendant of the 1000 AD eclipse!

So it seems we need to look closely at this mysterious blinking object (a short period variable, orbiting with a dark companion that regularly eclipses it) and the constellation of Perseus to which these stars belong. They tell a marvellous and sorrowful story.

In the constellation of Perseus Algol represents the severed head of Medusa, dangling from the left hand of the Solar hero, who has just beheaded the monster. Capulus instead corresponds the point of the sword he has used to accomplish the deed, a phallic symbol of brute strength. From the region of Capulus every year in August sky-watchers can witness the Perseid meteor shower,  moving parallel to Perseus’ raised arm and sword, and crossing the path of Algol, the Gorgon’s head.


The name Algol derives from the Arab Ra’s al Ghul, (from which the English word Ghoul derives), “the Demon’s Head”, and in the picture below has the face of a bearded man, an incarnation of the Devil.

algolarabicAccording to Greek mythology, the one I’ll refer to in this post, Medusa (name meaning Queen or Mistress) was originally a beautiful woman, one of the many granddaughters of the Earth Goddess Gaia. While worshipping in a temple of Athena, she was raped by the Ocean god Poseidon (alias Neptune). This ‘transgression’ was severely punished by Athena; so that, for no fault of her own, Medusa was transformed into a Gorgon. She still had the body of a woman, while her head was covered with writhing serpents, and her limbs became the claws of a bird of prey and turned into brass. What was more frightening about Medusa however was her stare: one look from her sorrowful eyes and a man would be for ever turned into stone.

A great number of females, Goddesses, Nymphs, Witches and a Princess are taking part in this story and being instrumental in getting rid of Medusa; only to make sure her powers will be preserved in the armour of Athena, beloved daughter of Zeus, the supreme patriarchal god.

The metamorphosis of fair Medusa into a hideous monster and her demise at the hands of Perseus, the male hero, has been explained by many as the mythical re-enactment of the destruction of the Goddess Cult of  Neolithic times. This occurred at the hands of Aryan and other warring tribes who worshipped male deities, and by 2000 BC had imposed their way of living and their religion on the native tribes of pre-historic Europe and the Middle East, worshipers of the Great Goddess since the dawn of time.

The cult of the One Mother Goddess was completely wiped out by around 600 BC, and survived only in myths and stories, while the power of the Godhead was gradually usurped by male deities. From them creation didn’t emerge spontaneously, like a baby from a mother womb and partaking of her substance, but was instead manufactured out of the elemental forces of chaos, where the ancient Goddess was soon relegated.

Medusa then is one incarnation amongst many of the Goddess creatrix, and Perseus one of her patriarchal slayers. The Goddess power is demonised in Medusa’s ugly person, as women lost their equality to men and their own powers of generation were demeaned and ultimately demonized.

We can discern a lot of ambivalence in the story of Medusa: for a start the legend of Medusa seems to be more ancient than the Perseus’ myth; the Goddess preceded the hero. Then Perseus succeeded in killing Medusa only through the help of Athena, herself a goddess, despite her  masculine temperament, who gave him the mirror shield to vanquish Medusa (a symbol for the need of self-reflection when we try do deal with our inner demons). Other divine females were active characters in the legend; like the three Graeae sisters (grey or old ones), the witches from whom he extolled the secret of the Gorgons’ hiding place, or the Hesperides Nymphs, guardians of the Golden Apples of Immortality  that grew in a grove at the edge of the world. They provided Perseus with Hades’ hat of invisibility without which he couldn’t have approached the Gorgons unseen.

Furthermore, at the end of the story, her severed head was amalgamated into the mirror shield of Athena, conferring on this warring and rather masculine Goddess some of the powers of the ancient Goddess. And Andromeda, the mythical damsel in distress, chained to a rock to be sacrificed to a Sea-Monster, enters the story too, when Perseus rescues her from sure death with the help of the winged horse Pegasus. This magical creature had sprang from the severed head of Medusa. Pegasus helped Perseus to escape the rightful rage of Medusa’s Gorgon sisters and eventually brought him and Andromeda home to safety. The winged horse represents all the beauty and power imprisoned in the Gorgon’s body, a symbol of transcendence and sublimation, liberated by the sword of Perseus. Eventually Pegasus was welcome into the Heavenly realms and chosen to pull Jupiter’s chariot.

Another proof of Medusa’s dual nature, at the same time divine and devilish, is that the very blood that gushed out of  her neck was separated into two streams, one carrying lethal poisons that could be used to kill, and the other healing substances by which men could be healed instead.

The Star associated with this myth has however mainly a bad reputation and no surprise: just the rightful wrath of poor Medusa should be enough to make it into a formidable force.

Many scholarly studies on the effect of this Star are available to Astrology’s adepts and all seem to show a difficult if not completely negative influence, in both Natal and Mundane Horoscopes. The Haiti’s earthquake can now be added to the many case histories of natural and man-made disasters touched by the blinking eye of this mysterious Star.

In my own experience of Algol, in the charts of clients and famous individuals, I can say that its effect is not consistently negative, but it is often connected with traumatic experiences, often early in life, without any obvious fault on the part of the individual.

Algol is at her strongest though only when there are other astrological signatures to confirm the possibility of traumas and severe difficulties. Together with the difficulties however come strong resilience, resourcefulness and survival skills. Both men and women can experience the power of Medusa when they begin valuing their darkness, their secret feelings, their inner truths, the mysteries of their own psyche, the feminine within.

It is an amazing feeling to experience the synchronicity between some Fixed Stars and the stories clients bring to a consultation, or those of famous people  or events one is studying (as in the case of Haiti).

Who can resist the thrill of discovering that lady Diana Spencer had Algol and Capulus (the head of Medusa and the sword Perseus used to cut it off) both conjunct her Venus? Shortly I will publish a list of events and also people who have a connection with Medusa and also with the Sword of Perseus (Capulus). It makes an interesting read.

After experiencing few of these meaningful coincidences I never fail now to look at my clients’ and friends aspects with the Fixed Stars, because the wealth of imagery they bring is worth the effort of learning something new and overcoming old prejudices.To just mention one of those coincidences: the transiting Moon is conjunct Medusa right now, as I’m ready to publish this post!

Scientifically oriented astrologers may find disagreeable working with Fixed Stars, because they seem to belong to an outdated and superstitious type of Astrology. To me the proof is in the pudding. Fixed Stars, in measure, work for me. I don’t stop and ask myself too many whys, or I would have to give up Astrology all together.

And here is the 1000 Lunar Eclipse around the 1804 Horoscope of Haiti’s Independence:



Click to enlarge

I have found valuable information on Medusa, and other subjects covered in this post, in:

the classical text by Richard Hinckley Allen, ‘Stars Names, their Lore and Meaning’, Dover Publications.

David Ovason ‘The Book of the Eclipse, Arrow Books, a really fascinating read about Eclipses, of course, but also Fixed Stars.

Bernadette Brady’s Visual Astrology Newsletter and articles.

Anne Baring and Jules Cashford’s The Myth of the Goddess, Evolution of an Image’, Arkana, a must read.