Fixed Stars, Not Fixed Fates!Written by Nancy R. Fenn
"What hogwash!" he said, only he used a different word. "When you screw up your life, you blame astrology, like you had no choice because you were born at a certain time." Now he was smiling. "The reason I do drugs and can't keep my fly zipped isn't because of any stars! Like my old man knocked up my mother when Scorpio was Rising and because of that I'm going to jail? I don't think so! I'm going to jail because I’m bad to bone!"
This is a speech made by Edmund Bastard in Act I, Scene ii of Shakespeare’s King Lear. I brought it up to date.
Edmund plots to turn his father against his half brother, Edward, but boys’ father won’t go for it. He excuses Edward’s recent strange behavior by "these late eclipses in sun and moon …."
Edmund says he was born under Dragon's tail, South Node of Moon. That could be in any sign. He’s making a play on words. To be born under any animal’s tale is probably a slur on Edmund's mother who was not married at time of his conception.
Edmund’s "nativity" or horoscope is under Ursa Major, constellation where Big Dipper resides. At time of this play, most of stars in Ursa Major were in late degrees of Leo and first half of Virgo.
It's a funny coincidence (no such thing?) when Edmund speculates, what if he were born under "the maidliest star" -- because that's exactly when he was born. If under Ursa Major, then influence of Virgo, Maiden.
Edmund shows a mistake people sometimes make about astrology. You can't be born "under something", you have to be born when Sun is "in something".
Edmund's character is used as a contrast to King Lear's very evil daughters, Goneril and Regan. King Lear is destroyed by their cruelty. While these girls are dark to core, Edmund is openly, carelessly and light-heartedly villainous. Back then as now, some people are bad but some people are really evil. M. Scott Peck wrote a good book to help with this distinction, The Road Less Traveled.
Edmund actually has a pretty good handle on an important concept in humanistic astrology -- way before Dane Rudhyar (1895-1985) wrote his books. It is our character that determines our fate, not our horoscope.
Thousands of people are born same hour, day, year and even minute all over world; yet no two are alike. The energy of stars is neutral like electricity but there is a Soul lying beneath horoscope which uses energy for good or ill.
Charles Darwin was born on February 12, 1809 in Shrewsbury, England. Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809 in Larue County, Kentucky. It was a good day for men!
There's nothing evil about being born in Virgo. In fact many Virgos are among most gentle people. But 9 degrees of Virgo is a degree of homicide. Alioth of Ursa Major in Shakespeare’s time was at about 7 degrees Virgo while Mizar and Alcor were at 12 degrees Virgo.
I think, too, that Shakespeare refers to importance Ursa Major has always had in northern hemisphere. It is one of first things children learn to pick out in starry night sky.
Ursa Major isn't part of zodiac but its stars can be seen vividly at night. There are seven main stars, Alkaid, Mizar, Alioth, Megrez, Phecda, Merak and Dubhe.
The last two are special stars people use to site North Star (Polaris). Mizar has a fainter companion, Alcor. As everyone knows, if you can see these two stars with your own two eyes, you have good eyesight!
Your Connection to the ElementsWritten by Avalon De Witt
In ancient times, scientists, philosophers and magi divided matter into four basic elements: Air, Fire, Water and Earth. It has been said that these elements are building blocks of life.
A scientist and philosopher named Empedocles set this foundation for science in Sicily during 5th century B.C. Empedocles belonged to tradition of "Root Cutters," which means that he was an herbal magician and healer. He defined these elements, or "roots," as not only physical substances, but also as "spiritual essences." He even assigned gods and goddesses to these energies: Air - Zeus Fire - Hades Water - Nestis (also known as Persephone) Earth - Hera
About a century later, Aristotle assigned properties of hotness and coldness to elements: Air - hot/moist Fire - hot/dry Water - cool/moist Earth - cool/dry
Mystics throughout ages have recognized these elements as four spiritual modes of being. Air, Fire, Water and Earth are represented by four suits of Tarot - Swords (Air), Wands (Fire), Cups (Water) and Pentacles (Earth). I have seen that a dominant suit in a card spread can be very telling. You will also find these elements in astrology: Air - Gemini, Libra, Aquarius Fire - Aries, Leo, Sagittarius Water - Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces Earth - Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
Alchemy, Hermeticism and Gnosticism hold understandings of four elements, too. We can see them in Jungian theory of four personality types - thinking (Air), intuiting (Fire), feeling (Water) and sensing (Earth). Even our modern Meyers-Briggs personality test shares this four-fold concept.
The idea is that nature and Self are equal. The four seasons of a year can be compared to four stages of human life - birth, growth, maturity and death. We can utilize four elements as dimensions of psychic and spiritual growth. The natural way would be to strive to achieve an equal proportion of each. Understanding psychic energies of these elements can help us balance our lives and experience greater harmony. If you know which elements to call upon and how to connect with them, you can manage whatever life throws your way much more easily.
AIR Season - Spring Time of Day - Dawn Direction - East Color - Yellow Archangel - Raphael
Every time you think or communicate, you are drawing on element of Air. Our connections with others are formed through Air. Air is most elusive of all elements. It is uncontainable, unseen, and changeable. Whenever you seek insight, discover a new idea, change your mind, clarify a vision, develop a plan or concentrate on your breathing, you are becoming Air. Air is intellect, Truth and wisdom. If you have difficulty making decisions, taking action, understanding or being understood, Air can help you.
To awaken your connection to Air element, open your windows and clear air around you by burning some incense or smudging your home with sage. Play music that inspires you. Or go outside and feel wind on your face. Pay attention to way it masters its own destiny, moving constantly. Its flexibility makes it unstoppable. Try to block it with your hand. It will only go around.
Singing or toning, whistling, even dancing are all Air activities. Crystal singing bowls and tuning forks are useful tools for invoking Air energy. Inventors utilize element of Air. Read biographies of inventors to understand inner workings of Air.
FIRE Season - Summer Time of Day - Noon Direction - South Color - Red Archangel - Mikael
Have you ever really, really wanted something? That's fire. Fire is desire. It is dynamic, passionate, bold, enthusiastic, active and hopeful. Fire is life principle. It provides heat and light. It is element of Spirit. Fire is charming, flamboyant and inspirational. Fire transforms. If you would like to improve your sense of humor or build courage, confidence, or motivation, look to Fire. To open up to power of Fire within you, you can light a candle and see what living flame has to show you. Watch a sunset and take in brilliance of this vital element. If you really want a mega-dose, try dancing around a campfire and watch way fire dances with you. Let heat of Fire element penetrate and warm your soul. Competitive sports and games are also good ways to stimulate spark of Fire in your life.