A joint publication of: Astro Logos and Zyntara Publications



February 2008

VAN Archive - www.Zyntara.com


In this issue: 
Pluto - its pathway through the heavens. As Pluto moves into the tropical sign of Capricorn but it also cuts a unique pathway through the constellations.
Chart consultations using Visual Astrology. How valid is it to use ancient terminology with a client?

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Visual Astrology Blog
for additional articles

Notices: Upcoming Workshops:

Medieval Predictive Astrology

Personal Patterns:
Your Unique Way of Working with Time

Visual Astrology - reading charts

London, UK - 23rd February

UAC - Denver, USA  21st May

New York - 21st June 2008

Bernadette Brady

Bernadette Brady

Bernadette Brady & Darrelyn Gunzburg

Contact - office@AstrologicalAssociation.com

web site - UAC

Contact - eileenmccabe@msn.com


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 Pluto - a unique path through the heavens.
     Bernadette Brady M.A.          

Pluto has entered into the tropical zodiac sign of Capricorn and as the world stock markets shock many astrologers simply nodded their heads in understanding recognizing that this was just the beginning of global money issues rather than an isolated incident. However, although much can be and will be said concerning Pluto in Capricorn, I would prefer in this issue of the newsletter to explore the unique pathway that Pluto takes as it it travels in its 248 year orbit through the zodiac.


Pluto's orbital path is tilted at an angle of over 170 to the ecliptic thus, although invisible to the naked eye, Pluto travels through areas of the sky that no other planet can reach. Furthermore, with a planet's path through the stars not being affected by precession (because we are not concerned with its relationship to the seasons on earth), we can consider that a planet's pathway through the stars will be a unique feature of that planet's sky narrative.  Additionally provided that its does not change its actual orbital elements, it will be consistent throughout history.

Pluto's cycle through the stars.
If we start the cycle as shown in Figure 1, you will notice that Pluto moves through the top of the constellation Orion and actually sits on the tip of the club. This last occurred in the year 1914 and as Pluto moved onto the   weapon of the great heavenly warrior king, World War I erupted. Pluto will, of course, be on Orion's club every 248 years, so it is interesting to note that in the previous occurrence in 1666 that it was the year of the Great Fire of London 2 - 6 September, 1666. 

Pluto then moves towards the ecliptic and crosses it (moving south to north) and as it crosses over this point of the two hemispheres, it also passes between the feet of Castor and Pollux, effectively splitting the two twins. It is "coincidences" like this that remind me that the sky, for astrologers, is an enchanted place, for the central issue of the mythology of these twins is that of polarity. Thus to have Pluto, with all its symbolism of polarity in modern astrology, cross from one hemisphere to the other and, at the same time to be "splitting" the heavenly twins is a strong  pictorial representation of the nature of this constellation and this planet. Now the last time Pluto split the twins and crossed hemispheres was in 1930, the time of the Wall St Crash and resulting world Depression.

From 1951 to the late 1960s Pluto was traveling through the stars of Leo and entered this constellation through the head of the lion, stressing, I believe, the heady arrogance of the West as it fought against communism and strove for global capitalism in this period.  However as Pluto "rolled" down the back of Leo, in 1962/3 it reached the star Zosma. This star is the point where the lion's back was broken by Hercules and as such is associated with the theme of perpetrator /victim. It is a star of suffering, of minority causes and of being "crushed" by a heavy hand. In this period of the early 1960s, as the US was establishing a military base in South Vietnam upgrading the conflict of the Vietnam war there were also race riots in Birmingham, Alabama. The authorities heavily crushed the African-Americans at that time and this lead to the eventual arrest of Martin Luther King. From these two issues - the race riots and the upgrading of the Vietnam conflict, lead to the emergence of the Peace Movement of the 1960s as well as the human rights movement respectively.  Thus as Pluto "rolled" down the back of the Lion and over Zosma the floodgates of human rights and of the peace movement opened.

 Figure 1 - Pluto's movement (yellow line)  from 1914 to 1975.

From the 1970s to the end of the 1990s (Figure 2) Pluto slowly moved down the northern edge of Virgo and we witnessed the rise of feminism in this period. In 1974/5 Pluto brushed by the right hand of Virgo and the star Vindemiatrix, a star associated with the harvest for its rising with the sun in the Roman era used to mark the time in the year for reaping grapes. In modern star work it is thus linked to the theme of gathering, collecting and focusing on a resource. As Pluto moved near this star in 1974-5 there was an oil crises with the oil producing nations of the world boosting their price of oil. This contributed to a time of  world-wide inflation causing the price of basic food to soar. Here, with Pluto in this position of the harvester, we were beginning to become aware of the finite nature of the world’s resources.

  Figure 2 - Pluto's movement (yellow line)  from 1975 to 2027.

From Virgo, Pluto then proceeded to move into the stars of Ophiuchus, the healer.
Ophiuchus was known to the Greeks as Serpentarius the Healer, who was also the god Asclepius son of Apollo. He learnt the healing arts from Chiron and is usually depicted as holding a stick on which a serpent is coiled, a symbol now used for western medicine. The serpent was seen as a healing agent because it represented prudence, rejuvenation, wisdom and rebirth. Asclepius was said to have the blood of Medusa in his veins. The blood that flowed on her left side created fatal poison, while the blood that flowed on the right was beneficial, so these stars hold the power of both destruction (through the poison of Medusa's blood) or healing. Pluto has been traveling through these stars since 1993. It began its journey by passing underneath the western snake (1993), and then crossed over both the knees of Ophiuchus from 1999 to 2003. Many things have happened in the world in this time but the rise of the environmental movements, Green Peace, and the idea of the protection and healing of the planet, the strengthening of the Gaia movement is a key expression of this passage of Pluto. Additionally, there is an increasing rejection by people of the unconditional use of drugs and the total dependence on science as a universal problem solver which, I think, is another expression of Pluto through this sign.

AT this time Pluto is leaving the constellation Ophiuchus and is moving towards the warrior constellation, Sagittarius. It will touch Sagittarius by entering into the head of the Archer and in 2018/19 it will cross over the ecliptic moving into southern celestial latitude. The last occurrence of this was in the late 1760s and early 1770s which saw a struggle over matters to do with taxation (financial matters were also the focus of its crossing the ecliptic in the 1930s) The British were taxing the American colonies, an action which lead to the American War of Independence (1775 – 83).  This is suggestive of difficult times ahead from 2018 to the mid 2020s. It will not be until late 2020s and early 2030 before Pluto will actually enter the stars of Capricorn and the last occurrence of this was the period of establishment of the USA after its formation in 1776.  If we look back to an even earlier cycle then Pluto moved through the stars of Capricorn was in the period of the 1530s which saw Henry VIII of England break away from Rome and declare himself head of the Church of England. Pluto amongst the stars of Capricorn does seems to have a pattern of the establishment of new world orders.

   Figure 3 - Pluto's movement (yellow line)  from 2030  to 2137.

Figure 3 is the rest of Pluto's pathway though the sky. After the establishment of new world orders around 2030 Pluto then moves into the flow of the stream of water from the urn of Aquarius and then pushes forward into the stars of Cetus the sea monster. Considered to be a "hateful monster" by Aratus in the 4th century BCE, this beast is symbolic of the great sea of the human collective and implies that a theme or issue will "erupt" into consciousness, changing the entire outlook of the world's people. Indeed Pluto actually moves through the entire length of Cetus, entering its tail area and leaving the constellation just below its mouth. It therefore spends over 40 years in the constellation Cetus.

Pluto's previous journey in this part of the sky was from the years 1823 to 1867. In this period there were large shifts in the human collective concerning the rights of others. World governments passed anti-slavery laws and the idea of owning another human being, which had been a acceptable practice for thousands of years, suddenly became abhorrent. Also in this period gold was discovered in the New World (both in America and Australia) which represented a potential shift of wealth from the ruling classes to the working classes. This meant that now anyone could have money, even if you were born into the "wrong" class.

The period before that was the period 1575 to 1620s - a time which saw the discovery of the New World, as well as the influence of both Galileo and Kepler. By the end of this passage through Cetus  it was known that the Earth orbited around the sun, and that Plato's and Aristotle's world views were no longer scientifically valid.

So as Pluto moves through Cetus from 2073 through to 2137 what will be the realizations that we have?  Without a doubt Pluto through Cetus will herald emerging human awareness and great insights which will alter our veiw of our world and humanity in a historical fashion.   

Thus as you ponder Pluto entering into the tropical zodiac sign of Capricorn, I suggest you also pause for a while and consider the wide and unique path that Pluto carves through the heavens every 248 years. It is the only planet that "wonders" from tight family of the Zodiac.


All images are composite images made using the sky maps and constellation images of Starlight.

Chart consultation using Visual Astrology
Fit the action to the word and the word to the action.
Hamlet, Act 3, Sc ii

by Darrelyn Gunzburg

The translated texts with which we have been working in Visual Astrology describe a world which may sound quite alien to our modern ears: the world of the court of the King, the Crown Prince, Ishtar and Nergal, Sin the moon god, and so on. Of what relevance can such terminology have for clients saturated in the modern world of computers, economics, mortgages, mobile phones, and YouTube. Yet how different is our world really? Watch any play by Shakespeare and ask yourself why you respond to its emotional through line. It’s not only that he can write. He taps into an emotional reality that has changed little in five hundred years. Go back further in time. Watch ‘Lysistrata’ by Aristophanes written in 411 BCE and we still respond to situations that are as emotionally relevant today as they were then. It is this emotional web that energises the translated Mesopotamian tablets which we quote in the Visual Astrology Newsletter. See for example this letter from the priest Nergal-etir warning his king about a radiating Venus in the constellation Orion:

If the stars of Orion keep gaining radiance: an important person will become too mighty and commit evil. [my bold] - Venus stands in front of Orion [1].

This question of the relevance of the wording of these translated tablets, and the world they thus describe, was indelibly presented to me late last year through an email I received from a long-term client. This is the same client whose Mercury in Sagittarius in the 1st house, square Pluto in the 11th house I delineated in the April 2005 issue of the Visual Astrology newsletter. My client described her current situation as follows:

For the past 18 months or so my work with the women in central Australia had been going really, really well. The women and I were developing an early childhood  service on one of the most remote desert communities, based on traditional Anangu (Aboriginal) teachings and practices. In early August 07 I was invited to consider translating our work into a PhD (very exciting)...although, almost immediately after being offered that opportunity, my superiors at work (one of them is new) stopped our project and to justify their decisions they are making false allegations [my bold] about me ... What is the best action for me to take?...Is it like a bad "storm" where the best thing for me to do is bunker down and wait for it to pass?...or do I need to take more assertive action?

My client’s predictive work showed transiting Saturn square Mercury beginning in late September 2007 and completing in June 2008 as one of the major transits for this period. Since the expression of the transit already contained several ways of communicating - the Aboriginal teachings and practices, my client’s PhD and the false allegations – I was most interested in both her Saturn and her Mercury in the sky map.

Before I looked at the sky map, however, I saw that her natal Saturn is in Capricorn, in rulership. My client is the project officer taking responsibility for an on behalf of these women. I read this as my client standing on steady ground.

My client’s predictive work showed transiting Saturn square Mercury beginning in late September 2007 and completing in June 2008 as one of the major transits for this period. Since the expression of the transit already contained several ways of communicating - the Aboriginal teachings and practices, my client’s PhD and the false allegations – I was most interested in both her Saturn and her Mercury in the sky map.

I also saw that my client’s Mercury is in Sagittarius, in detriment. Could this be where the difficulty lay, since Mercury in Sagittarius struggles in working with the mainstream and has to take the non-established way of doing things? However, my client is already successfully doing this by working in an alternative arena within her governmental department. But how would the Mesopotamians have viewed this Mercury?

In my client’s chart Mercury is a bright morning star (rising before the Sun). The Mesopotamians called him the scribe or the writer, The Messenger who carried information between hemispheres but he was only ever seen fleetingly so he could also be a rumour-monger or a thief. As a morning star in my client’s chart, he would have been seen as a bright flash before being swept up in the fiery boat of the Sun.

Mercury, rising before the Sun in the jaws of the Scorpion


Since the Sun in a chart was also The King, the Mesopotamians might have said that “the King must be aware that there is a false prophet in the court”.

Further, at the moment my client was born Mercury was visually firmly lodged in the jaws of Scorpius (see April 2005 VAN for discussion of this), suggesting that my client is unafraid of challenge.

We can gain further information by looking at the parans that sit underneath my client’s Mercury.


When my client was young she had the following fixed stars connected with her Mercury:
                       Mercury with Antares:
Mental obsession with a subject or a person

Antares is the Royal Star in the constellation The Scorpion. As a Royal Star it assures my client success for her Mercury as long as she does not become obsessive. However, natally my client has Mercury square Pluto, tailor-made for her to become involved in a departmental paper war, continual discussion with her unsupportive superiors at work, and generally getting into a jammed state through continual processing. The correct action for my client was to wait and to not get involved with debate or accusatory action or pushing for more information than she needs to have, as if she does, she loses everything (the nemesis of the Royal Star, Antares). Her best action now was to create a still centre inside her and avoid becoming obsessed.


                Mercury with Sadalmelek: An agile and nimble person whose ideas appeal to others


Sadalmelek is one of a pair of stars linked with the constellation the Water Bearer, both of which bring luck. In this case it is a flood of good events or news that comes through my client’s Mercury. Indeed it is my client who floods the Anangu women with “life-giving water” as their project officer and brings their position to life.


In her culminating years my client had a further fixed star in paran with her Mercury: 


               Mercury with Scheat:  The innovator, gifted with ideas, words or rhythm; far-sighted


Scheat is the star that forms part of the square of intellect of the constellation Pegasus. Liked with my client’s Mercury, it offers her distance, perspective, and objectivity and acts like a safety net for her natal Mercury square Pluto, stopping it from becoming obsessed. This paring of Mercury with Scheat suggests that my client must watch the current events as If she was a member of an audience watching a play at the theatre and allow the actions of the rumour mongers to become obvious before she could engage with both her governmental and her university work once more.


From all of the above, it is clear that although the rumour mongers appeared to be winning, as long as long as my client maintained her perspective and avoided being drawn into a war of words, either paper or debate, they were no challenge to her. However, if she engaged in debate, with Mercury in the face of the Scorpio and in paran with Antares (in the constellation The Scorpion, a double message), she would lose everything.

I shared these ideas with my client using these terms. She wrote back:

The analogy of the rumour monger coming into the Court of the King is incredible in its accuracy. I see, in this case, the Court of the King is the mainstream organisations of the University and the Government working alongside the Senior Anangu women in genuine respect and partnership of knowledges. They belong together in the Court of the King. That is what is right.

What is amazing is the lengths that the person/s obstructing the work have gone to this time. …I believe the work is feared by some people because it challenges the very core of their beliefs about the world…

In early February 2008 my client updated me on what was happening:

Things started moving soon after Australia Day (26th January). The 'rumour mongers' in the court of the King are starting to become exposed and their positions are unravelling as their actions are brought into the light......There is still some way to go though as they continue to have some support in high places (but) I am holding to your advice, maintaining my integrity and moving forward slowly from my centre with as much grace and dignity as I can gather from day to day. 

In summary…

To a certain degree whilst we may appear to live in an “advanced” civilisation, the inner workings of human beings have not altered since the days when the Mesopotamian priests used their styluses to engrave cuneiform onto clay tablets. My client found this “ancient” imagery of what was happening for her galvanizing in its descriptive accuracy. It gave her a different perspective from which to view the situation and although she may not have realized it consciously, it connected her across the centuries with the very nature of what it is to be human, still trying to understand itself in modern times. For my client the story is still unfolding but she took heart at this mirroring of the politics of the Court. She could use the same advice as was given then to forge a stance and thus endeavour to gain her outcomes.


1.   1. Hunger, Herman. (1992). Astrological Reports to Assyrian Kings. Helsinki, Finland: Helsinki University Press. pg.143

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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.