A joint publication of: Astro Logos and Zyntara Publications



December  2007                                                                                          

VAN Archive - www.Zyntara.com

In this issue:  
The Chart, the Sky and the Stars - The second in a series of guides to reading a chart visually.

To subscribe or

Visual Astrology Blog
for additional articles

Firstly we would like to wish all our readers a very Happy Solstice and many blessing for the New Year of 2008.

This year, as it has been so since 3200 B.C.E., the sun on the morning of the winter solstice will once again light up the deep inner chamber of the oldest known building on the planet - Newgrange, Boyne Valley, Ireland.

We do not know why such structures were made but they tell us that humans have celebrated and held sacred this time of the year for a very long time. So whatever your thinking or beliefs, enjoy this period of ancient celebration and sacredness.

Reminder Notices - Courses starting:
Astro Logos is now accepting enrolment is the two diplomas taught by Bernadette Brady. Starting in late January 2008:

The Diploma in Fixed Stars and Visual Astrology
This diploma is designed for astrologers who wish to expand their astrological readings and delineation skills through the type of work that we have been exploring in the newsletter of the last three years.

The Diploma in Medieval Astrology.
Bernadette is the guest tutor in the Medieval Cosmos module of the new MA at Lampeter University and this diploma is designed for astrologers who want to deepen their own astrological work by adding the understandings, philosophy and techniques of medieval astrology to their craft. 

Announcing the March Spring School in Single Aspects taught by Darrelyn Gunzburg will be open for enrolment in January 2008. This 6-week online real-time school is designed for those students who wish to enter the Astro Logos Diploma course of study which begins with this 6-week intensive. See notes at the end of this newsletter for more information.   

Introduction: Thank you to all those who responded so enthusiastically to the delineation I wrote in the August 2007 edition of the Visual Astrology Newsletter and asked for more. Bernadette and I have realized that in this somewhat new-mish old area it may be useful to publish more of these delineations from time to time for those who wish to begin using it in their practice with clients, so here is the second in this occasional series

The Chart, the Sky and the Stars
Mars flees from Cetus the monster
by Darrelyn Gunzburg

Generally delineation begins with the natal chart with its patterns of planets embedded onto the ecliptic. However, we can also add to this the visual astrology component, which is the way the planets rise and set, the way they sit in the sky and whether they form parans to stars and thus have their meanings interwoven with these ancient sky myths. Thus reading a chart becomes not the single voice of a monologue or even the debating voices of a dialogue but rather a many-voiced approach, that which has been called a polylogue.

I recently had a client that I will call "Victoria" and her chart reading and her story shows the value of this many-voiced approach. Victoria was born into a middle class family in London. Her chart is below, so let us firstly look at a few basic points.

Victoria's emotional needs
Some of her emotional needs can be seen in: 

 water Ascendant (the need for emotional security) and its ruler, Jupiter (I use old rulerships) in detriment in the 7th house.

  Her Moon in exaltation in Taurus in the 2nd house forming a T-square through being in opposition to Neptune in the 8th house and square the apex planet Uranus in the 6th house.

Victoria can, therefore gain emotional security in two ways: firstly, through learning how to be in beneficial partnerships (Jupiter in the 7th house) which are different or unusual (Jupiter in detriment). She can also gain emotional security through learning about and respecting her body (Moon in Taurus) in equal proportions to her intuition and empathy (Moon-Neptune).

 “Victoria” -  data withheld for privacy



As the opposition of the T-square, this Moon-Neptune causes a dilemma in how Victoria can appropriately use her material versus intuitive /artistic/spiritual resources so that neither erodes the other. She can, however, learn from her mother and her grandmother (Moon-Neptune) to solve this dilemma by using her intellect (Moon-Uranus) and to ground it through hard work (Uranus in the 6th). 

How Victoria's thinks and communicates
Victoria can also gain a sense of fulfillment and security through planets that are conjunct her ascendant, in this case though the placement of her Mercury which is in fall in Pisces in her 1st house conjunct the Ascendant and conjunct Venus (in exaltation) and the Sun, all square to Saturn in the 9th house conjunct the MC.

In this case fulfillment comes through the lens of her father-figure whom she sees as empowered (angular Sun) and who has high expectations for her (Sun-Saturn).  So Victoria learns to work extremely hard (Saturn conjunct the MC and her Sun square Saturn) to fulfil those expectations and and in so doing, will give her imaginative and different thinking (Mercury on the ascendant and in fall in Pisces) shape and form (Sun-Saturn). 


Her motivation and drive
This can be seen in her Mars in Taurus (in detriment) in her 2nd house conjunct the South Node, and square to her Pluto in the 6th house.

A Mars-Pluto aspect in a chart describes energy that is immense, powerful and dynamic. It invigorates a person, making them a vibrant, sexual human being. However unexpressed it can erupt in rage and anger and if  blocked or checked in any way it can even indicate health problems, such as excessive cell growth or immune system health problems. Not only does this fixed square in Victoria’s chart contain such a mechanism for blocked energy (Mars in Taurus) but Mars is conjunct the South Node, suggesting there may be an illness or behaviour pattern that Victoria has inherited.

Victoria's Story

My client’s biography contained all of these elements. She had been in a lesbian relationship for some years reflected by her Jupiter in detriment in the 7th house. Within that relationship she has given birth to a daughter using sperm from a known-donor (an expression of her Moon-Uranus). This daughter, now at primary school in London, had been named for her paternal grandmother, a significant person in Victoria’s life who had died when Victoria was eleven (indicated by her Moon-Neptune / Sun in Pisces / Sun square Saturn).

Added to this story was the fact that Victoria’s father died in 2001 after a protracted illness of two years. Although this was not the focus of the reading, loss forms an important marker in our lives and can heavily affect our future actions (1). When I looked at these two transits of loss, I saw that both had affected Victoria’s Mars-nodal axis, already a difficult aspect in her chart (the death of her paternal grandmother when transiting Neptune was conjunct the North Node and opposition to Mars, and the death of her father when transiting Uranus was square to Mars and the nodal axis.) Such a pointer suggested the visual astrology of the Mars and its connected parans would be important factors in the consultation.


When Victoria contacted me, she had just received the news that she had gained her MSc in Gender and Media Representation at the London School of Economics and now wanted to take this into a PhD (Sun-Saturn) with the aim eventually of publishing books on alternative gender lifestyles.  

Victoria's Visual Astrology - adding another voice.
In Mesopotamian astrological thinking, Sin, the moon god, can empower or disempower other planets or stars either by travelling above or below them in the night sky. So when you have a Moon forming a conjunction in a natal chart, it becomes most important as to whether the Moon passes above of below the other planet. In Victoria’s chart, whilst Sin moves close to Mars (Nergal) as shown in her sky map below, he, Sin, does not rise above Mars (Nergal), hence he neither empowers nor disempowers him. Instead these two sky characters in Victoria's sky narrative maintain what appears to be a balanced connection with Sin (the Moon) providing a steadying force for Mars (Nergal), highlighting Victoria's natal expression of Mars in Taurus.  

Victoria's natal Mars and Moon as they looked in the sky -
 The moon does not pass over the top of the Mars.


Mars (Nergal) is also quite separated from Venus, suggesting his behaviour is milder, calmer and fitting in with the other gods rather than the intensity of being in the underworld and close to Venus (2), again reinforcing the steadiness of Mars in Taurus.


However, as we further investigate the visual placement of this difficult natal Mars, we gain even more information.  Look at the sky on the day that Victoria was born - image below.



Cetus the monster chases Mars, who flees on the back on the Great Bull
Victoria's natal sky narrative.



Victoria’s natal horoscopic story is being played out in this sky picture: 

Cetus, the sea monster, the unknown beast from the depths, which can erupt bearing with it moments of great insight or chaos, appears to “chase” Mars who leaps onto the back of the Great Bull of Heaven (Taurus) and clings to it for protection. This visually therefore is a Mars who is seeking security, chased by the terrors of the deep and in this sky image we see a reflection of Victoria's the horoscopic story of Mars dealing with issues from the past (conjunct the South Node) and its inherent dilemma of safekeeping and protection (Mars in Taurus) versus vibrant intensity (Mars-Pluto). Here we can see the natal sky narrative is adding meaning to the delineation of Mars in the natal chart.

The final voice... adding the stars myths to Victoria’s chart

The third voice we can add to Victoria's story is to consider the planet and stars combinations themselves. Starlight will print out the full listings of parans (see VAN August 2005 and July 2006) and if you do not have a list of your own parans you can get these free of charge from www.zyntara.com

A star is said to be in paran with a planet when the planet is on any of the four points of rising, culminating, setting, or on the Nadir and at the same moment in time, for that location, the star is also on ANY of the same four angles or points. [If you are uncertain about parans you can have a look at this in an animate image at this link: http://www.zyntara.com/starlight_tutorials_skyparans.htm]

Now... sitting underneath the Mars in Victoria’s chart are the following stars:

When she is a small child:

is rising as Mars is Culminating

To work in impossible, or extremely difficult, circumstances - Curtailed passage

Zosma is the star in the place on the back of Nemean Lion where it was crushed by Hercules as one of his twelve labours. Brady notes in Starlight (3): 

This myth is a symbol of the point in Greek and Roman mythology where the feminine or

non-establishment concepts or beliefs were extinguished. Zosma itself is not feminine but rather it belongs to those whom the establishment, either directly or indirectly, makes powerless.

Since this occurs in the first third of Victoria’s life, it suggests that in her young years, members of her family may have felt crushed by the establishment and disempowered as they tried to move forward in their endeavours and that Victoria also feels she cannot fully express herself in what appears to be impossible, or extremely difficult, family circumstances.


There are no parans connected with Mars in the prime years of her life. The next paran to Victoria’s Mars occurs in her latter years:


Alkes as is setting as Mars is On Nadir

To take action to achieve and protect one's ideals

is the Crater, Cup or Chalice on the back of Hydra, the Serpent. Linked to a spiritual, mystical and prophetic nature, its essence is to carry something precious. This suggests that in her latter years, Victoria carries something precious for others. Since it is Mars involved with Alkes, the nature of what is contained in the vessel of Victoria’s life is going to be expressed by her mature understanding of alternative lifestyles, issues which perhaps her family have been unable to handle when she was young. Now in her latter years she can readily express her own ideals and thus give insights which are helpful, useful and precious in the collective’s understanding.


The third and last of Victoria’s parans in connection with her Mars occurs on the nadir, as the foundation stones or a summary of her life:


Castor as Mars is Rising

A person who plans, a thinker, a solver of problems

Finally as the summation of Victoria’s life but which in essence has been there all along, Mars connects by paran with
Castor, one of the twins of Gemini. This connection describes the successful storyteller who understands the nature of polarities, for Castor is the star in the right side of Gemini and thus can be considered to be the intellectual writer, able to explore ideas without constantly needing to examine or take into account the shadowy side of the issue. With such a star in paran to her Mars, this suggests that Victoria will achieve what she wants to achieve and in so doing, will be able to resolve issues for her family that they could not, issues about taking action.

Victoria’s desire to continue on with a PhD in Gender Studies was well-founded and bodes well for her future desire to publish books on alternative gender lifestyles.  


In summary then…

Whilst in this Newsletter I have only been able to touch on the broad brush strokes of delineating Victoria’s chart incorporating all three perspectives - the Chart on the Ecliptic, the Chart in the Sky and the Chart and its Stars  - I hope you can see how the expression of a difficult aspect in the natal horoscope gains and benefits from its visual expression and the parans within which it comes into contact. 


A picture is worth a thousand words to a client as well as to the astrologer. The image of Victoria's Mars fleeing from the sea monster Cetus gives us a powerful and deep understanding of Victoria's Mars which is then reinforced both in her natal chart as well as in her star myths.


1.       [1]Gunzburg, Darrelyn (2004). Life After Grief: An Astrological Guide to Dealing with Loss (Bournemouth: The Wessex Astrologer).

2.       [2]StarLogos: The Conference (2007) – 3CD boxed set Studyshop – FLASH presentation.

3.       [3]Starlight Astrological software.


Courses: Reading Charts,  Darrelyn Gunzburg is the main delineation tutor for Astro Logos. This course is taught on line through our virtual classroom which is a full video and duplex sound link between all students and tutor. Students intending to enroll must have already studied, in their own time, the Studyshops "The Zodiac: Urban Tribes" and "The Angles" as well as worked through in their own time  "The Planets and Aspects Kit", all of which are available from Astro Logos. (Click here to purchase).

Receiving this newsletter:
With new filtering systems monitoring emails, many of the people who wish to receive this newsletter are being blocked by internet email filters. Thus in order to ensure that you are able to continue to receive this newsletter, please add our email to your address book: newsletter@Zyntara.com  as well as office@astrologos.co.uk as we sometimes have to use different email address in order to dispatch this newsletter. Thank you.


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.