Saturday, March 31, 2007

On Astrology, Chasity & Women: Still Relevant?

On Astrology, Chasity & Women: Still Relevant?

4:43 AM 03/21/2007 Wed

Recently my colleague, astrologer Chris Brennan, wrote and published an essay dealing with Synchronicity and our Astrology, how the two interact with each other. While mine doesn't deal with this issue per se, it's interesting that I would see it at a time when I find myself in, no surprise to those who know me, right back in the crosshairs as a result of some of my writings with regard to Marriage, Love, Relationships and the role of the Sexes in it all. Synchronicity as I understand it, means the occurance of meaningful coincidences, meaningful to the observer of course. For me, all of this goes down as Society bears witness to the major developments occuring on all of the aforementioned fronts. I've taken up several of these issues and their astrological implications in previous essays. But in this essay, I would like to zero-in on the specific question of whether Chasity - and I'm speaking with specific regard to Women here - is not only astrologically linked/reflected, but is still relevant in our Brave New World.

We read in the ancient classical works of Vedic astrology, entire chapters and sections devoted to what is known as "Stri Jatak" - simply stated "Astrology for Women". While its verses point out that what obtains in the charts of women can also be applied to men, it also takes special pains to lay out specific combinations bearing on the chasity of women, whether a particular woman is more or less likely to have what the Indians, even today, refer to as "loose morals". For example, two combinations bear mention in this regard; Kuja Dosha, the "Blemish of Mars", a combination that denotes marital misery, even early death of the spouse, is one such formula. Although it's equally applied to both men's and women's charts, I stick to the dictum that its original intent and focus was on WOMEN'S charts, not only because of the potential for the early death of a husband, but so too, of the potential of certain House placements of Mars in a woman's chart that could incline her towards certain kinds of behavior that could prove problematic when it comes to the question of Marriage, something that Indians, even today in a time when rapid change is taking place on the subcontinent, take very, very seriously.

Mars placed in the 1st, 4th, or 8th House of a woman's chart gives specific cause for concern in the mind of a classically trained jyotishi, because these positions give specific indications that the flames of Martian passion might suggest that the woman so having them could be inclined to sexual behavior that might turn away marital prospects; in other words, not only are such combinations suggestive of overall marital discord and premature death of the spouse, but they also could suggest an "unchaste woman" as well.

Another combination, to be found in the South Indian Jyotish work (and it must be also said that Kuja Dosha was and for the most part still is, South Indian in its origin) Jatak Parijat, states that in a chart if Venus, Mars and Saturn are involved with both 4th and 7th Houses, the native becomes a profligate. Now, it doesn't specifically refer to women here, and indeed, such a combination can obtain and resultant behavior seen in the lives of men as well; but jyotishis watchout for such combinations more closely in the charts of women than they do for men. And my own direct observation and experience, over nearly a decade of the most intense study of Vedic astrology, seems to bear this out, that these combinations have more import in the charts of women over men.

To the ears of a 21st Century Westerner, especially those who happen to be Women, all of this sounds at best quaint, at worst sexist, and - dare I say it?-"misogynistic". For most, the very basis upon which Vedic astrology is supposed to rest is anathema to a Westerner, because Fate and Karma are concepts that puts the person on the receiving end of Life's events and actions, while everything about the Western World is the direct opposite.

So let's consider the way in which Western astrology looks at this issue, that of Chasity with regard to Women.

In the days of Lilly it wasn't at all unusual to find similar writings by astrologers of the day that also spoke to this question, suggesting that this is much more than a Eastern cultural oddity or concern - and indeed, much of the focus of the Feminist Movement in recent years has been to bring its message to such far flung places as India and Pakistan.

In Western Astrology, the Sexual Planets are Venus, Mars and Pluto; any two of these planets coming togther to form an aspect, can be considered a Sexual Aspect. For women, Venus-Mars and Venus-Pluto pairings become very important, because they seem to "work" more with regard to the Fairer Sex than the latter combination, Mars-Pluto. The aforementioned aspects are powerful enough - but when all three planets come together in some way, it's what the Magi Society refers to as a Super Sexual Aspect - and trust me, after reviewing literally hundreds of charts over the years in this regard, it's no joke. Especially for women.

Why do I say that? Because only roughly a third of all women have such aspects (Sexual Aspects in general, and the SSA in particular), versus some two thirds of all men (Venus-Mars and Venus-Pluto "work" on men, as well as Mars-Pluto and Mars-Uranus). Just about every woman who broke the boundaries of what was considered "chaste" for a woman had Sexual Aspects, if not Super Sexual Aspects, in her chart - Monica Lewinsky, Madonna, Anais Nin, Virginia Wolfe, and so on. Many of the women cited are considered heroines of the Feminist Movement.

Here at home, some 35 years on from the passages of the planets Uranus and Pluto through the Sign of Libra, our sexual attitudes have changed indeed; no longer is the unwed mother, divorce (for either sex) or a "lady of the evening" the stuff of whispered scandal. The linchpin of said movement was the inherent "oppression" Marriage and "the Patriarchy" represented, and it needed radical (Uranus) change, at its most fundamental level (Pluto). Women were not only encouraged, but in some cases were almost intimidated into "exploring" their sexual selves in ways over the years that now "the Hooking Up" culture is pervasive as a result. Many of my colleagues would probably welcome such a change, a good number proudly self-identifying as supporters of the Feminist Surge in the name of putting to bed stale old notions of chasity and "patriarchy".

All of this, of course, begs the question - but what of the Double Standard? You know, the supposed inherent hypocritical fact that men have enjoyed the ability to sow their wild oats with little or no social censure or rebuke. Why is it that men can (seemingly) get away with such things, but women, until very recently, couldn't? This is a very interesting question, and one that needs revisiting, in light of the Signs of the Times, some 3 decades on from the "Second Wave"; and implicit in the question lies one of the fundaments of Feminist-inspired philosophy - that men and women are intrinsically the same, a new spin on the old saw "what's good for the goose, should also be good for the gander". Right?

The answer is both simple and very profound - Paternity. Until very, very recently in Human history, a man never really knew for sure if he was the father of a child he supposedly sired with a woman; for the most part, men had to take women at their word when she said "it's yours". This fact is due not to "socially constructed" role playing, but to Biology - the biological fact that since women are the ones who bear the children, her maternity is never in doubt; we've all heard the old saying "Mama's baby, Papa's maybe" right? And it is this undeniable biological fact that presents a real problem to Feminists everywhere, and for our discussion, particularly those in our astrological ranks who fancy themselves as such or in-league with.

Why does this present such a problem, in our Age? Again, the answer is both simple yet profound - because all manner of study, time after time, again and again, shows that those kids who have dads involved tend to do far better in Life than those without. So having a guy invested, emotionally, and financially, is key in raising well adjusted children into adults, especially if they are male children. My colleagues will invariably say that there are many single moms who do just well with kids on their own, and I would agree. But for the most part, they are in the distinct minority, according to virtually every sociological study - for the most part, kids coming from such homes are largely absent from the elite college rolls, or for that matter, the elite lower grade schools, and when they do go on to college and the like, they tend to be lower-tier. Kids from such arrangements tend to be in trouble more, including of the criminal sort, and so on. Being a gal with a reputation is a strong discouraging factor in most men's minds when it comes to wife and mate selection.

What does all this have to do with the way in which we astrologers, and perhaps more importantly, Women, see themselves? Well, it has to do with a word Feminists love and another which, by the way they act, seem to barely know - Choice and Consequence. One invariably, follows the other. The two are linked.

A woman with such strong Sexual Aspects as we know them in Western astrology of course, in our days and times, has every right to act on those aspects as much as she likes - she has the right to choose. But in so doing, there may be grave consequences. For example, let's say that in exercising her choices in this way she happens to get pregnant - by someone who might not be the best in daddy material. In our era, she of course has the right to raise the child alone, but in so doing, the consequences set in motion from the moment she decides to act on her Sexual Aspects dictates that, all things being equal, her child is much more likely to live a life of poverty and all that it brings in its wake than those who come from intact two parent, mom-and-dad environments.

Well, some of my colleagues would say, with birth control and abortion available as options, she need not ever worry about an unwanted pregnancy - and she can still be able to fulfill her sexual needs and potential as any man could. And that's true, but they again would miss a key point. Although modern medical science has solved the age old mystery of paternity, the very real dangers of back alley abortions and unwanted pregnancy, it hasn't solved the what I call "Male Evolutionary Psychological" problem - and that I mean this...

That most men in American Society, even today, aren't very enthusiastic about the idea of marrying a woman who is just a bit too familiar with the fellas shouldn't come as a surprise. Astrologically speaking, the horoscope of the United States clearly explains it - Mars rules the 5th House in Gemini (multiple daddies) and is square Neptune in the 9th in Virgo (the Virgin, hmm), suggesting that as time goes on this issue regarding Paternity is very likely to wind up in the courts, possibly going all the way to the Supreme Court. You can call that sexist (even misogynistic) reactionary hypocrisy if you like, but to the minds of most men - and keep in mind, this just didn't come out of thin air, but rather hundreds, if not thousands of years of trial and error - a woman with such a track record ain't exactly the most trustworthy person in the world, at least when it comes to the prospect of being religiously, legally and socially yoked to such a person obstensibly for Life. Despite all of the "consciousness raising" efforts, re-education campaigns and sensitivity training that has been visited on the male species over the past nearly 4 decades, the fact remains that when push comes to shove, even in the face of DNA daddy testing, there's no line of good men forming to marry Be-Be and take her Kids as his own. And despite the politically correct language that "it's not the sperm donor that defines the Dad, but the man who raises the kid" the reality shows us something a bit different - which I find as a most powerful irony in our Age of the Genome.

As the old saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same - despite the advent of DNA testing, Paternity is still very much a powerful issue and concern for men, and the recent events that have become news headlines give witness to this. Perhaps one of the most notable cases in recent times, has to be that of the late Anna Nicole Smith, who died last month leaving behind an infant daughter and an enormous drama concerning who her baby's daddy is; at last count, well over 10 men stepped up willing to take the test, among them Zsa-Zsa Gabor's husband.

At the time of Smith's passing, I wrote an article detailing what I think her birthtime might be, based on the events of her life and other details. But regardless of her birthtime, the Western astrology clearly shows that Smith was born with Saturn=Venus/Pluto, for which the famed astrologer and founder of the Cosmobiology school in Germany, Reinhold Ebertin, simply states "immorality" in his monumental classic "Combination of Stellar Influences". In my rectification of her chart, I suggested that Venus, which was placed in Libra and is Peregrine (Tyl), rules the 5th House of Sex and Children, disposing of the Asc ruling Moon in Libra as well. Venus is quindecile Saturn, ruling the 7th House, and Saturn in turn, is quindecile Pluto in the 4th. All of these planets are linked quite powerfully, and the Venus position in association with the 5th House in my view, suggests strongly that sex will be used as a strategy to get where she wants to go in life.

In her Vedic chart, again based on my rectification time, we see the principles mentioned earlier coming through very clearly. Venus is both in the 4th House and also debilitated, and this condition is repeated in the Navamsa chart. Saturn is placed in the 10th House in aspect to both Venus, the 4th House, and also the 7th House. And Mars is exalted in Capricorn, placed in the 8th House - a powerful Kuja Dosha - while Saturn disposes of Mars, and Mars in turn rules the Naksatra that Venus sits in. Please note that in both charts, Western and Vedic, the 5th House has a "cloud" over it, in the Western Neptune in the 5th, in the Vedic Ketu in the 5th. Such placements are often the case when paternity is in question.

Another very interesting situation taking place right now in our popular culture serves as a prima facia example of this. "Maury" is a hugely popular daytime TV talkshow starring Maury Povich, who before this show began was perhaps best known for being "Mr. Connie Chung". Although his shows deal with all the usual daytime TV talk fare, without question his most popular ones deal with "Who My Baby Daddy?" themes. In fact, one of my best friends, and a great astrologer in his own right, Zamani "Zam" Feelings, has even put together some 2 dozen of such shows, stringed together into one long montage of "You're NOT the Father!", complete with footage of the accused men's victory dances. There is one show (or I should say, series of shows) in particular that I will never forget.

The woman was named Marisol, and she had tested some TEN MEN to determine the paternity of her, I think it was three kids - and when all this first started, her youngest child was still an infant. One by one, show after show, the men were brought in and tested; "You're NOT the Father!" was heard again and again. At one point, because one of the man in question was no longer alive, his next of kin were brought in for testing - nada. Finally, after nearly a dozen men tested and not a daddy in sight, Marisol triumphantly said "I'll be both mother and father to my children; I'll do it myself", to which the crowd cheered. On some level, I couldn't blame Marisol for portraying a stiff upper lip on camera, afterall there were no signs of any of the men tested willing to stick around to help out with her kids. Even Maury, whom by now having done so many such shows probably thought that he had seen it all, was dumbfounded. No one questioned, even once, Marisol about her decisions, and the very delicate spot it puts her children in.

I have never seen Marisol's chart but all of my astrological instincts tells me that she has some very strong Sexual Aspects in it. But perhaps beyond that, I'm also quite certain that many of my astrological colleagues, perhaps a majority of them, would at best be very reluctant to question Marisol about her "choices", if not give out and out support for Marisol's decision to be both a mom and a dad to her kids on her own (all of whom, if memory serves, were sired by different dads).

While many of my colleagues could argue that hers is such an isolated case, I know for a fact that it's not as far fetched as it might seem; and for those who mutter under their breath "there goes Mu'Min moralizing again" I'm merely asking the question - what are some of the realworld consequences of getting rid of the so-called "Double Standard"? And is there still a place for "Chasity" in our Brave New World?

Perhaps Sidney Poitier, the gentlemanly Oscar award winning actor said it best, some 40 years ago in the film "To Sir, With Love", during a scene in which he lays down some of the ground rules to his class of incorrigible East End kids in London; he tells the girls that no man wants a slut for long - and only the worst kind will marry one.

Someone should have told that to Marisol.

Would you?




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