A joint publication of: Astro Logos and Zyntara Publications



April 2008

VAN Archive - www.Zyntara.com


In this issue:
   Sky Picture Observations - Harry Patch. A special edition by Darrelyn Gunzburg exploring the sky images in the chart of the last surviving UK service man of WW1. Darrelyn also asks us to think about any planets we may have in the zone between  50 and 200 Taurus which she has defined as the "Stare of Cetus".          

April has already been a busy month here. Advance copies of Bernadette's new book, Star and Planet Combinations, arrived to great excitement. Enrolments in Bernadette's online Summer School, for those of you who want to start to use visual astrology in your work as an astrologer, has been receiving a lot of enrolments and attention. As well, Darrelyn's research work into the 'Stare of Cetus'  is now presented here in this newsletter.

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Book Launch - New Book. Star and Planet Combinations by Bernadette Brady. Wessex Astrologer(2008).

280 pages packed with detailed delineation of 64 stars with all ten planets plus the nodes, as well as separate meanings for the heliacal rising and heliacal setting stars, plus tables to help you find your important natal stars.

   Click here for ordering your personalized signed copy.

We launched Bernadette's new book last week and our entire stock of 100 copies sold out within three days! We have managed to arrange another smaller shipment of 50 books. So if you missed out and still want a signed copy, these will be available over the next few days. 


Workshop - 20th April:
London - 20th April - A full day of Visual Astrology with Bernadette Brady  for the College of Psychological Astrology. Contact: cpalondon@dsl.pipex.com or for more information click here

Online Master Classes in Visual Astrology - see the end of this newsletter for more information.


Harry Patch, the last Tommy and 'The Stare of Cetus'
‘All it takes is someone switching on the light ...’

by Darrelyn Gunzburg

Known as the Great War, World War I seems long ago now. Fought in the bloody trenches of Europe, the war raged from 1914-1918. The toll in human lives was over twenty million and as much again were wounded. Those who died in this conflict were principally young men from many different nations, born when the Marquess of Salisbury was Prime Minister of the UK and Queen Victoria still had a few years left to reign, when Kitchener was yet to fight the Battle of Omdurman and the outbreak of the Boer War lay in the future, and when H. G. Wells's latest work, ‘The War of the Worlds’, had just been published in book form following its successful serialisation in Pearson's Magazine [1].


In the UK, one man still survives from these times, and the historic battle trenches of WWI. Harry Patch born on June 17, 1898, in Combe Down (near Bath) in Somerset, is the last witness, the last living voice of that era.

Now at the age of a 109, the world is hugely different place from that of his birth and through longevity alone he has become the final
UK survivor of World War I, the last living Tommy (a private in the British army) of the Great War, the last one to have inhabited the British experience of daily life on the Western Front. He was sent to Passchendaele, a battle which took just over three-months to win. Fought on the reclaimed marshland of Flanders, it became a horrendous outpouring of blood in ‘liquid mud’.


When Patch dies, this living link, this direct connection to that time will die with him. In February 2008, Andrew Motion, the UK’s current poet laureate, was commissioned to write a poem in Harry Patch's honour entitled "The Five Acts of Harry Patch". [2]

The last Tommy - Harry Patch
born on June 17, 1898, in Combe Down (near Bath) in Somerset.



In the interview between Harry Patch and Andrew Motion, what caught my attention was this comment by Harry:

"…some nights I dream - of that first battle. I can't forget it. I fell in a trench. There was a fella there. He must have been about our age. He was ripped shoulder to waist with shrapnel. I held his hand for the last sixty seconds of his life. He only said one word: 'Mother'. I didn't see her, but she was there. No doubt about it. He passed from this life into the next, and it felt as if I was in God's presence. I've never got over it. You never forget it. Never."

Patch’s life was shaped and shrouded by those four months spent in Flanders, where three of his five-man team were shelled to pieces. This experience in his twentieth year covered his life like a banded cage, grey in hue and shocking in its immediacy. Wounded in the groin by a shell splinter, he was sent to Rouen, then England. This is loss and trauma experienced on a collective level and made entirely individual. [3]

Harry Patch
 20 years old.


We do not know Patch’s birth time but his solar chart shows a cluster of three planets, book-ended by the two luminaries, all in Gemini (see chart above). A focus on polarity or duality or communication, we might say if reading the natal chart raw, with more specific issues of emotional obsession (Moon-Mercury-Pluto) contrasting with problem of confusion and/or spirituality (Sun-Neptune). However, if we look at this configuration in the sky, we see a deeper theme emerging. Despite a lack of birth time we can still look at the sky for the day he was born.


The sky on the day that Harry Patch was born - 17 June, 1898


Here (sky map above and image of Taurus below) his Sun-Neptune rolls off the tip of the southern horn of the Great Bull of Heaven held on its point like a Chinese juggler, and the Moon-Mercury lies strung like pearls across its brow, with Pluto the soccer ball knocked elegantly by The Great Bull’s knee. There’s a dance here that is not apparent in the flat tropical chart.


The Great Bull is ‘one of the earliest and most noted constellations probably due to it marking the vernal equinox from about 4,000 to 1700 BCE in the golden age of archaic astronomy. [4] Originally hailed as the god El, and connected with the cult of Ahura Mazda, saviour figure of the Persians known as the Bull-Slayer, his cult involved an initiate being washed clean by the blood of the bull.

The image of Great Bull of Heaven (Taurus) and the location
of the planets on the day of Patch's birth.


The Egyptians also annually slew a sacred bull to wash away the sins of the many. As the Bull slipped from the equinoctial position, so its mythologies expressed messages of domination and submission, thus Jason in reaching for the Golden Fleece of Aires is given the task of taming a fiery bull; and Theseus has to slay the bull of the Minotaur, hidden in the labyrinth and feeding on sacrifices of human flesh until conquered by Theseus. Sacrifice by blood and cleansing by blood are inherent in the meaning of the constellation The Great Bull.


Personalising that in the chart of Harry Patch, the meaningless blood sacrifice of the many, the young of the kingdom, consumed by the Minotaur of War, became part of the fabric of his world. ‘For eighty years I’ve never watched a war film, I never spoke of it, not (even) to my wife,’ he says. But it haunts him and becomes an emotional worry of which he never speaks (Moon-Mercury-Pluto) in the background of his life.


Harry Patch is remarkable. Married to his first wife for fifty-six years, they had two sons, both of whom have since died. Following his first wife's death in 1976, he married again at the age of eighty-one. His second wife died five years ago. He himself should have died ninety years ago, on a battle field in September 1917 with his mates in a foreign country fighting a war not of his choosing. His physical body survived, however, and so have the emotional scars, no matter how hard he has tried to eradicate them. Living in a nursing home for the last six years, Patch expresses it this way:

‘Opposite my bedroom there is a window and there is a light over the top. Now [when the staff go into that room] they put the light on. If I was half asleep – the light coming on was the flash of a bomb. That flash brought it all back… For six years, I’ve been here [in the nursing home]. Six years it’s been nothing but World War One. As I say, World War One is history, it isn’t news. Forget it. ' [5]

Andrew Motion expresses it this way:

… life is like that now, suddenly and gradually
everyone you know dies and still comes to visit
or you head back to them, it's not clear which
only where it happens: a safe bedroom upstairs
by the look of things, although when you sit late
whispering with the other boys in the Lewis team,
smoking your pipe upside-down to hide the fire,
and the nurses on night duty bring folded sheets
to store in the linen cupboard opposite, all it takes
is someone switching on the light - there is that flash,
or was until you said, and the staff blacked the window.
                                                         © Andrew Motion, 2008


The Stare of Cetus


In working with Harry Patch's sky map, however, another pattern emerges connected with his Mars. There’s something I’ve noticed about planets/ luminaries travelling between Aries and Cetus (the tropical sign of Taurus). It has cropped up several times in Visual Astrology Newsletters (see below) and enough times in client’s charts for me to take serious notice and it is this: any planet as it moves below the throat of the Ram (around 5 degrees of Taurus) until it gets caught in the flank of the Great Bull (around 20 degrees of Taurus) will also be passing through the stare of Cetus the Sea Monster. Sitting underneath the ecliptic it is hidden from view, as it were, but when a planet/luminary travels through this zone it is caught in its sight (see sky image below).


Harry Patch's natal Mars in the "Stare of Cetus".

The ram of Aries shares his glory with no-one and Cetus the Sea Monster is the unknown beast from the depths which can erupt bearing with it moments of great insight or chaos. When a planet/luminary passes through this area of the sky, then, depending on which planet/luminary that is, whilst it may imply independence or supremacy of an individual or a concept (in Aries, the Ram), it comes at a price, for it is trapped in the stare of the sea monster and there will be hidden issues which sit beneath it.


Harry Patch is now a symbol of war and trauma. Being the last UK soldier alive, his longevity has made him the final witness and thus his chart, like his life, has become symbolic of that great struggle, illuminating that piece of the sky where Aries, the Ram and Cetus the sea monster form an unwitting partnership.  


In Aung San Suu Kyi’s chart (VAN, October 2007) with Mars at 5 degrees Taurus and Venus at 11 degrees Taurus, both travel through this area of the sky. Here the imposed supremacy of the military junta is representative of her Venus-Mars travelling through Aries the Ram, and Aung San Suu Kyi, as the Prime Minister elect, is the one unafraid to look Cetus in the face, knowing at some level that she ushers in resurrection and change


In the chart of ‘Victoria’ (VAN December 2007) with her Moon at 7 degrees Taurus and forming a T-Square with Neptune and Uranus, she sought emotional security (Moon in Taurus) through independence (Moon travelling through Aries, the Ram) but there was a hidden issue beneath that (Cetus the sea monster). In her case it was connected with giving birth to a child in a lesbian relationship. In that issue of the VAN I also focused on how Cetus appeared to “chase” Mars (at 23 degrees Taurus and conjunct the South Node) who leapt onto the back of the Great Bull of Heaven and appeared to cling to it for protection. This Mars-South Node square Pluto contained deep and hidden agendas to do with blocked energy and inherited patterns of illness/behaviour magnified by the sky narrative.


Thus the charts of Aung San Suu Kyi, Victoria and Harry Patch reveal a question for you who are following this journey of visual astrology. Do you have a planet/luminary in the 'Stare of Cetus' (between roughly 5 and 20 degrees of the tropical sign of Taurus)? If so, is there a deeper issue or scarring of some sort that sits underneath it of which you have become aware? Have you had someone “switching on the light”?


This is how I have seen it working in clients’ charts and the charts of prominent people but as this is new ‘old’ territory, we would love to hear how it is working in your life in order to gain further understanding of this for all of us.


[1] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/portal/main.jhtml?xml=/portal/2007/07/12/nosplit/ftharry112.xml - accessed 14th March 2008.
[2] You can
read the complete poem at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2008/03/08/bomotion208.xml
[3] You
can read more on unresolved grief and trauma in Chapter Two of Darrelyn Gunzburg's book, Life After Grief: An Astrological Guide to Dealing with Loss’ (Bournemouth: The Wessex Astrologer, 2004).
[4] Bernadette Brady in Starlight.
[5] http:://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwone/last_tommy_gallery_03.shtml - accessed 14th March 2008.

Master Class in Visual Astrology - Enrolling now


The online Master Classes require that you have a PC with a sound card.

Enrolments open in April and this online school is SIX half-day online seminars held on Saturday afternoons (GMT) in June, July and August.
Click here for more information.

If you wish to prepare for this master class, then think about our special on the StarLogos boxed set of visual astrology lectures which are currently offered with a  20% discount. The material in these lectures will be the basis of the Master Class on which Bernadette will be building and giving you hands-on instruction on how to read sky maps and work with fixed stars in natal astrology.  www.astrologos.co.uk/Study_StarLogos.htm


The software that allows you to work with the whole sky in your astrology is Starlight and it can be explored on the Zyntara home page where there are also online tutorials.