Sunday, March 26, 2006

On "Goddess Astrology": A Giant Leap Forward, Or Two Cosmic Steps Back?

On "Goddess Astrology": A Giant Leap Forward, Or Two Cosmic Steps Back?

3:56 AM 3/26/06 Sun

I began my studies into Astrology as the epic Uranus-Neptune Conjunction in Capricorn crossed my Ascendant in 1992. I was a rapacious reader of anything and everything astrological, and like many others "on the path" I would come to learn and know of later, I too was exposed to a sub-set of astrology that would come to be known as "Goddess Astrology". It derives its name from the premise that this branch of Astrology deals more pointedly with themes and issues germain to feminine existence, and uses as its main tools, the Asteroids, literal outer space planetary debris, floating around the Earth's near-orbit. "Goddess Astrology" also has a philosophical framework, which won't be delved into too much here, other than to say that it again is based on notions of incompleteness with "traditional astrology" and that the aforementioned is inherently unfair to the many faces of women, past, present and future. It's main cheerleaders are Demetra George and Martha Wescott, both of whom have written long odes to such notions, as well as more "newjack" voices such as Aura Wright and Eric Francis. In fact, they have written all manner of flowery asides about "Goddess Astrology" in recent times on their respective websites, and this essay is in part in response to their positions.

Both Wright and Francis start out their pieces by lamenting the fact that "traditional astrology" suffers from a lack of balance - too many male planets, not enough female ones. Why should the Moon and Venus be relegated to the gals, while the boys have all the fun with the Sun, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, (supposedly) Neptune and Pluto? That's not fair!-we need to have "balance". Back when I first got into Astrology and saw this "craze" among certain of my colleagues with this fascination with "Goddess Astrology", my gut told me that there was something amiss in both the logic and application of the method; but not being able to accurately frame the issues, and with my having interests in other areas of Astrology at the time, I put this cosmic canard up on the shelf to wait for future times.

That time is now, to thoroughly examine, and debunk the "Goddess Astrology" myth.

In his book, "Light on Life", a Vedic astrological text, Hart DeFouw makes a very powerful point; a traditional Jyotishi, he eschews new fangled notions on the part of "new age" Vedic astrologers who attempt to make use of the Outer Planets of Western Astrology, within the symbolic and philosophical framework of Jyotish. DeFouw argues that such people only do this, because they have not clearly understood Jyotish's heart - in other words, to be more blunt, such folks don't have a clear grasp of the fundamentals of Vedic astrology. For if they did, they would understand that Jyotish is a complete system of astrological information, confirmed by hundreds, if not thousands of uears of observation and experience. It works perfectly well without the Outer's "help", and in fact, they only serve to muddy the waters by their inclusion into a horoscope. In my personal interaction with jyotishis from India, it seems that the only ones to attempt this "upgrade" are those who are American/Western born, and this puts us back onto why there is seemingly so much interest in "Goddess Astrology".

We have to understand, that the Astrology of an era or locale, is merely a reflection of said era or locale; one of the reasons, for example, and going back to Vedic astrology, that "native born" Jyotish texts read as they do, is because the method of learning anything is decidely different in Indian culture than it is here in the USA. This is why so many people here have a sort of exotic, "safari" view of Jyotish, but very few ever actually get anywhere with it, because they have failed to make the cultural leap in thinking and worldview that is essential when trying to learn Jyotish's roots. To use another Jyotish-based example, Vedic astrology (that is to say, as actually practiced in India, as opposed to its "mutated" American variants) focuses far more on the prediction of events than does American Western/Tropical astrology; again, this is a direct result of the cultural outlooks, for better worse, of Indian society versus an American one.

I bring these points up to illustrate that here in the USA, a decidely Uranian place, the idea of change, is HUGELY POPULAR. Just take a look at the TV; it won't be long before your eyes are assailed with new car ads, a new phone service ad, a new this and a new that. Anything "new", "different", "changed" is immensely appealing to Americans - no matter if the "new", "different" or "changed" thing in question is actually better than that which it replaced, is true or not. In the USA, change is sought for its own sake - often with less than desirable results (which speaks to such a large portion of the American public being unhappy - but that's another topic for another day). So, one reason why "Goddess Astrology" has such huge cache' here in the States is in lart part due to this Uranian addiction for change.

But another very potent - and very pointed - reason for the "Goddess Astrology" so-called yearning & popularity lies in the cultural shifts that have taken place in the USA over the past 30-40 years. With the rise of the "second wave" of the Women's Movement, came the fundamental tenet that all things in all spheres of human existance and endeavor must be fully equal, at all times, and this is to include equality of both opportunity and outcomes. This notion is very, very strong in the astrological community, which is top-heavy (pardon the pun) with the presence of women at all levels of interest and participation; such views are very appealing indeed to such a constituency. Since the traditional astrology of old represented "the patriarchy" in its framework and didn't include an equal number of planetary representatives on the female side of the fence, several astrological thinkers came up with the idea of incorporating the Asteriods to make up the difference. However, like their "big sisters" in "the movement" these astrologer-ladies didn't fully think through what their new system would ultimately mean or do to our Craft; all they knew was that "The Man" (astrological, in this case) had to be taken down, replaced by a more gentler, kinder and equitably-based astrology.

My reasons for suggesting that "Goddess Astrology" in particular, are spurious, are as follows:

1. Those who champion the method clearly evidence themselves to be deficient in the fundamentals of the Craft. The Moon is all pervasive in her influence on affairs on Earth. She is like the Queen of the chessboard, the singlemost important piece in the game. All of life flows through her, which is why she is associated with fertility and childbirth. The Moon is the closest astrological body we have to the Earth, and as such also represents all things that are "close" to us, such as feelings and emotions, the home and food, and so on. The Moon represents all women everywhere, regardless of marital status or age, etc. Venus, as we all know, represents the principles of beauty, love, lust, erotica, socialization, the arts. And Neptune, is perhaps the most feminine planet of them all, because she represents the "higher octave" principles of Venus, love as compassion for others. In fact, according to the Magi school, Neptune is most important planet to have when it comes to matters of love and marriage; without a strong well fortified Neptune, so say the Magis, having a longterm marriage or relationship is very unlikely. All three of these planets, the Moon, Venus and Neptune, are Female in their makeup; one need not resort to little rocks in order to find "expanded" notions of womanhood.

2. The Signs that these planets rule - Cancer, Taurus, Libra and Pisces - are also Female in their function and outlook, and also can give us signals as to the changes and themes women face when Outer Planets pass thru these Signs. Neptune's transit thru the Signs also gives clues about women. For example, the Uranus-Neptune conjunction of 1992 that I spoke to earlier, occured at the same time "The Year Of The Woman" was being hailed. It was during 1992, that more American women than ever before was voted into the US Senate and US House of Representatives, and when a "woman-friendly" President in Bill Clinton was elected (and note, Clinton's Venus conjunct Neptune rising in the Libra Asc - "I feel your pain"). Uranus and Neptune in conjunction in Capricorn, suggested massive changes with "the old boy network" in politics and business - women had finally arrived. We can apply this method with regard to Neptune's transits of Libra and Scorpio - just think of the image of Jackie O. for the former period, and Janis Joplin for the latter one. Fitting, right? And right now, with Neptune in Aquarius, and in mutual reception with Uranus in Pisces, right now women are fighting the inevitable changes that are to come with regard to Roe v. Wade (keep in mind, the Saturn-Neptune oppositions due in 2006-07). When Saturn hits Libra, a few years from now, we can expect a great deal of ladies to want a more traditional viewpoint to be expressed, as more of them will want to marry and so on. Again, just with a clear and thorough understanding of the core standard astrological planets, one can glean a great deal of information both on the mundane and individual levels, without resort to, again, the functional equivalent of celestial garbage.

3. The notion that the asteroids "fill in the blanks" of women's lives is at dubious, because as anyone knows, anything that explains everything in the end explains nothing; with an asteroid for every mood and occasion, how can you NOT find one that says something about you? Such a notion is injurious to Astrology, and is best avoided. Not only that, but all of the extra "data" only serves to clutter up the place, like Fred Sanford's front yard. For every Asteroid-Acolyte who tries to make the case for their use on the basis of their "expanded expression of the feminine" I can show them chart after chart of women who have their Female Planets either "exalted" or "perverted" and manifested them in like fashion:

- Oprah Winfrey has the Moon ExDek with Uranus in Cancer in the 7th; the Sun conjunct Venus in Aquarius, both squared by Saturn; Neptune in the 10th in Libra

- Simone de Beauvoir had the Moon in triple conjunction with Mars and Saturn in Pisces; Neptune in Cancer opposed the Sun, Mercury and Uranus in Capricorn

- Anais Nin had the Moon in Capricorn opposed Neptune in Cancer, both at the Aries Point(!), with the Moon conjunct Uranus, and Venus in Pisces square both Pluto and Uranus

- Anna Nicole Smith has the Moon probably in conjunction with Venus in Libra, with Neptune in Scorpio sextile Mars in Capricorn, and also sextile Uranus-Pluto in Virgo

- Mother Theresa had Neptune in Cancer opposed Uranus in Capricorn, with Venus square Saturn

- Hillary Clinton has the Moon in Pisces square Uranus, while Neptune in Libra sextile Mars-Pluto, and Venus conjuncts Mercury, and squares Mars, Pluto and Saturn in Leo (Venus in Scorpio)

- Condi Rice has the Moon in Cancer, sextile Saturn in Scorpio, with Venus conjunct the Sun also in Scorpio, and both square Pluto; Jupiter conjuncts Uranus in Cancer, both square Neptune in Libra

- Coretta Scott King had the Moon in Pisces square Venus, with Neptune Peregrine (Tyl)

All of the women's charts chosen above were purely at random, and note that in every single case, the Female Planets were in one way or another emphasized; all of these women are notable in one way or another. The speak loud and clear, again, without need or recourse to picking thru the Solar System's trashpile.

In closing, I suggest that my friends and colleagues really sit down and learn the fundamental meanings of the Planets, carefully study the charts of women like the ones I've mentioned above, and forget about convoluted socio-political agendas in astrological drag. God knows, that nowadays Astrology needs more clarity, not more obsfuscation. Keeping things clear, clean and on-point keeps our Astrology crisp, fresh and relevant, in ways that would make both Lilly and Adams alike, proud from above.



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