Monks and Moons:
A country's pattern of lunar eclipses
Bernadette Brady M.A.
Burma is a country which
proclaimed its independence from India at a carefully selected time chosen
by Burmese astrologers. Yet one could suggest that its history since
independence is probably not one that was foreseen by those astrologers
and indeed not one that would have been consciously chosen.
became independent from India on the 4 January 1948, at 4.20am,
considered a most auspicious time .
the Burmese astrologers in 1948 would not have been aware of the
brooding fixed star parans that were mixed with this natal chart on
Pluto was in paran to Alderamin, the alpha star in Cepheus the King,
and such a paran defined as
“The dictator, an obsessed leader”.
this, Pluto was also in paran with Zuben Elgenubi, one of the claws of the
Scorpion and now one of the scales of Libra. I defined this combination in
“The people seek a utopia”
Burma - Independence 4 January 1948,
4.20 am Rangoon, Burma (Campion:106)
is a difficult mix of idealism and the love of power and within 14 years
of the joy of independence, the Burmese people lost their dream of a
utopia and gained a military dictatorship in its place.
Pluto parans were not the only difficulties with the carefully selected
chart. On this day in 1948 the Heliacal Rising star was Facies. This is
the star which defines the nature or quality of the journey of life. Every
country, like a person, has to mature and the heliacal rising star is the
pathway to this maturity. To have Facies in this position is defined as
walking in “The shadow of war, the darkness of cruelty or aggression.”
Thus Burma’s chart for
independence is one which shows a young country of an ancient culture that
must struggle with idealism and dictatorship as it reaches for its future.
Given this background and aware of
the latest lunar eclipse (27 August 2007) rising with unwashed feet
over Burma (see September, 2007 newsletter), I was most interested
21st September, the Alliance of All
Burmese Buddhist Monks proclaimed the Burmese government
“the enemy of the people”.
from the Buddhist monks of Burma echo the letters of the
priest/astrologers who, when observing a lunar eclipse rising over
their country back in 650 B.C.E., defined it as a moon rising with
unwashed feet and proclaimed great difficulties for the enemies of
their country . Could this last eclipse, then, be of importance
in the story of the struggle of the Burmese people?
Burma’s fight for freedom and its links to times of lunar eclipses
Since its independence Burma
has experienced key times of civil unrest and each one of these has
occurred at the time of a lunar eclipse which occurred at the time of Moon
rise over Rangoon and thus defined as rising with "unwashed feet".
Eclipse of February 1962 -
The successful military coup
On 19 February, 1962, there was a lunar eclipse which occurred as the Moon
rose over Burma and within a few weeks of this event, the fledgling
democratic government was overthrown by a military coup lead by General Ne
Win (2 March 1962).
Now globally this was a difficult time as Pluto was sitting in the
back of the Lion near the star Zosma – the place where Hercules broke
its back as part of the ruthless overthrowing of the old religion in
favour of the new solar religion of Zeus. At the same time Uranus was
sitting on Regulus, the king star in Leo .
visual sky narrative expressed its themes by the overthrowing of a
democratic government by General Ne Win who claimed “kingship” over
lunar eclipse producing a Moon with unwashed feet rising over Burma
was seemingly beneficial for the ruling military junta, the people
with all the power, and clearly was a disadvantage for the majority of
Burma's citizens who were those that had little power.
Pluto in the back of
the Lion as
Uranus joined with the King star, Regulus.
Lunar Eclipse November, 1974
- Death of U-Thant
coup of 1962, 14 years passed before there was any large civil unrest in
the country. This was around the time of the first Saturn Return to the
Independence chart and on 25 November, 1974 the loved and respected elder
and leader, U-Thant, died. The people responded with collective mourning
but the military government's refusal to bury U-Thant with any national
honour or ceremony resulted in an uprising of both the student and the
civilian population. On 29th November, 1974, there was another lunar
eclipse which also rose with unwashed feet over Burma and the civilian
unrest was crushed by the military junta on 11th December, 1974. Once
again the Lunar eclipse favoured the ones who held the power.
Eclipse August 1988 - The 8888-Uprising
Another 14 years passed. On 8th August, 1988, a peaceful civil movement
began in protest of the military government’s economic mismanagement. This
became known as the 8888-Uprising. The uprising spread in influence
throughout the country and on 27th August, 1988, there was a lunar eclipse
which once again rose over Burma with “unwashed feet”. This new uprising
grew in strength when the Buddhist monks of Burma joined its ranks.
However, by 17th September, 1988, the uprising was crushed by the military
with the loss of over 3000 monks and citizens. Once again it would seem
that the lunar eclipse was favouring the rulers of the country - those
with the military power.
and Neptune transits
On 27th May,
1990, the Burmese government held free elections for the first time in
almost 30 years. The
National League for Democracy (NLD), the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, won
392 out of a total 489 seats, but the election
results were annulled by the military government (the SLORC) which refused
to step down. Aung San Suu Kyi – Prime Minister elect, born
June, 1945, Rangoon, Burma – has been under house arrest and is currently
apparently in hiding. There were no lunar eclipses active at the time
(within a few weeks of the elections). However, transiting Neptune was
moving over the Sun and Mercury in Burma’s Independence chart (given
above), a combination that suggests that these elections were not going to
be legally upheld but also a combination that suggest to us astrologically
that the chart is a valid chart for Burma.
Lunar Eclipse August, 2007 - the current uprising
The current period of unrest began on 18th August,
2007, when the government raised the price of fuel by 500% to
cover budget deficits caused through salary increases for the civil
servants and the cost of moving to a new capital, renamed Naypyidaw
which means “seat of kings”. This fuel price triggering events is an
interesting expression of the current Saturn-Neptune opposition.
On the 27th August, 2007, once again a lunar eclipse
rose with unwashed feet over Burma and there is now another period of
civil unrest. Once again, as in the case in the 8888-Uprising, the
protestors have been joined by an estimated 2,000 Buddhist monks who,
September, 2007, staged a protest march in the city of
Larger protests in Rangoon and elsewhere ensued over the following
days. Security by the military became increasingly heavy- handed,
resulting in a number of deaths and injuries.
By 28th September, internet access and mobile phone
links had been cut and journalists reputedly warned not to report on
protests, and the junta began to attack the Buddhist monks.
|Military junta establishing itself in
its new capital name Naypyidaw "seat of kings". March 2006.
turned as the military is declared the "enemy of the people"
One of the last
news items released before the country was sealed to western journalism
was the announcement, as I have already stated, on 21st September by the
Alliance of All Burmese Buddhist Monks describing the
military government as "the enemy of the people".
Coming from the “other” major ruling class in Burma,
the Buddhist monks, could this turn the eclipse pattern around? Are
these words from the priests of Burma enough to turn the tables of the
expression of the eclipse and swing its difficulties back on the
the military regime is now seen as the enemy of the country, then this
lunar eclipse may prove to be most difficult for the military and
possibly most helpful for the monks and the people of Burma.
As the world
media showed us pictures of the uniquely-coloured Burmese monks with their
robes of red and orange marching in protest, I was reminded that at this
moment Mars is visually sitting between the horns of the charging bull of
Taurus, and that Saturn, which is always so linked to kingship, has
replaced the military coup’s Uranus sitting on the king star of Regulus.
Lastly to help
this “turning of the tables”, transiting Uranus is currently on the IC of
the Burmese Independence Chart – just to help this shift of structure.
So the sky
narrative and the mundane astrology tell us that the government in Myanmar
is ripe for change and the most recent news is that monks that have
escaped the regime crack-down last week and are now leaving the
monasteries and taking up arms against the government. Mars has truly
stirred, and now we watch and wait.
Hunger, Herman. (1992). Astrological Reports to
Assyrian Kings. Helsinki, Finland: Helsinki University Press.
 According to Campion, (pg 106).
definitely not a naked eye visual statement I have found that the outer
planet's movement through the constellations quiet important for
understanding mundane events.
accessed 1 October, 2007.
Aung San Suu Kyi
a women who holds the hopes of a nation and rules from the underworld
A Buddhist, Suu Kyi is
has been detained for the last 18 years. The recent photo of her (right)
shows the effects and strain of her detention.
Prime Minister elect -
At this time of unrest in Myanmar, it is appropriate to consider the visual
astrology and fixed stars in the chart of Aung San Suu Kyi,
pro-democracy activist and leader of the National
League for Democracy in
and a noted prisoner of conscience and advocate of non-violent resistance.
According to the results of the 1990 general election, Suu Kyi earned the
right to be Prime Minister, but the election was annulled by the military
junta and she was placed under detention.
The Visual Astrology in Suu Kyi’s chart
We do not have a birth time for Suu Kyi. However, we can still work with her
chart in visual astrology for we do not need the time of birth to look at
her star parans and her natal sky story.
Ishtar and Nergal
On the day she was born Venus was nearly 45 degrees ahead of the Sun,
and thus was a bright and glorious morning rising star.
Venus was also radiating Mars - giving its light to the warrior planet -
and thus increasing Mars' energy.
This simple visual statement suggests that she is immensely assertive
Mars and Venus are also visible as they have left the underworld,
(the place of planets and stars when they are close to the sun), so this
great passion being expressed by their conjunction is evident in the
Mars is travelling through the stars of Aries, also known as
The Hired Man, which is associated with the mercenary in war. Whilst
we would not place such a callous meaning on this for Suu Kyi, it is
clear that she is using herself as an example to fight for the rights of
Aung San Suu Kyi - born 19 June, 1945,
Rangoon, Burma. No birth time.
Cetus the Whale
As well, in her skymap, this bright, assertive radiating Venus with the
might of Mars beside her, stares into the face of Cetus the Whale. Brady 
notes that the whale in the sky represents the human collective unconscious
and can erupt like a beast from the deep, bearing with equal probability
moments of great collective insight or chaos and mayhem. Again this
articulates how Suu Kyi is unafraid of taking a position against the
in order to achieve something for the collective, in this case, the people
Aung San Suu Kyi - on
the day of her birth with Mars and Venus
staring into the jaws of Cetus the Whale
We see this passion and rage coming to the fore for Suu Kyi in 1988. Her
mother had a severe stroke in March and Suu Kyi flew to Rangoon to help
care for her at hospital. In July. General Ne Win, military dictator of
Burma since 1962 resigned amidst popular demonstrations of protest. In
August there was mass uprising throughout country and violent
suppression by the military killed thousands (the 8888- Uprising
Suu Kyi, took her first political action and sent an open letter to the
government, asking for the formation of an independent consultative
committee to prepare multi-party elections. She gave her first public
speech, addressing several hundred thousand people outside Shwedagon
Pagoda, and called for democratic government. In September, the military
established the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), banning
political gatherings of more than four persons. There were arrests and
sentencing without trial.
Parliamentary elections were to be held, but the expectation was that
the multiplicity of parties would prevent a clear result. The National
League for Democracy (NLD) with a policy of non-violence and civil
disobedience was formed, with Suu Kyi its general-secretary. Defying
bans, Suu Kyi went on a speech-making tour throughout country from
October to December.
In late December her mother, Daw Khin Kyi died at age of seventy-six and
Suu Kyi vowed that as her father and mother had served the people of
Burma, so too would she, even unto death. She won the election in a
landslide. However, the ruling junta refused to step down.
The parans that sit underneath Suu Kyi's Venus
We can gain added insight by considering the fixed stars that are in
paran with Suu Kyi’s Venus and Mars. The first paran to her Mars is
as Mars is rising
A person who uses aggression, or raw physical energy, as an instrument
Mirfak is the star in the warrior, Perseus, and is the concept of the
young warrior proud of his strength, his hunting, fighting abilities and
of his trophy. Occurring in her young years, this is perhaps
encapsulated initially by her
father being assassinated
when she was two, an event that would eventually propel her to take a
political stance and devote her life to her country.
as Mars is on the Nadir
assertive, and at times aggressive, leader
Arcturus is the
star in Bootes, the Hunter who now farms, and he symbolises the
transition from the nomadic hunter-gather to the
herder-cultivator-ploughman-village. He also represents one who can lead
the way as a pathfinder and make transitions to create a better way of
life for others. Since it underpins this focused Mars, it suggest that
Suu Kyi’s stance will bring eventually change and reformation to the
government of Myanmar.
as Venus is Setting
relationship and to be blessed with good friends
Acubens is the star in the scarab beetle of life, linked with the energy
of life-giving, the Gateway of Life, and thus to the concept of
resurrection. It is often involved with bringing in new life in some way
or helping in the process of death.
Honoured with the Rafto Prize and the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of
Thought in 1990 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991for her peaceful and
non-violent struggle under a military dictatorship, Suu Kyi’s voice has
been heard across the world. Through being in paran with Acubens, her
Venus understands that by her actions, she is the bringer of new life.
In her own words, she writes:
There is nothing to compare with the courage of ordinary people whose
names are unknown and whose sacrifices pass unnoticed. The courage that
dares without recognition, without the protection of media attention, is
a courage that humbles and inspires and reaffirms our faith in humanity.
Such courage I have seen years after years.
Saturn, The King
With these parans in mind, look at her natal chart above. Saturn, the
King is with the Sun and thus he is in the underworld. In traditional
astrology this is considered combust or under the sun's beams but in
visual astrology it is suggestive that the planet works in the "other"
world, another place, in another way. So for Suu Kyi her Saturn is
detained or held captive there, forced to consider other, more alternate
ways of expressing "kingship". She is forced to be the king in hiding.
In 1991 the SLORC offered to free Suu Kyi if she left Burma and
withdrew from politics. She rejected this offer. SLORC has changed
its name to the State Peace and Development Council, but its
repressive policies and violation of human rights continue unabated.
One might ask what it takes to exhibit the raw courage of Suu
Kyi to continue to stay in a country where military violence seem so
embedded when they offer her the opportunity to leave? However, in
considering the visual astrology and the fixed stars connected with
her chart, it is clear that hers is a life annealed in toughness, a
true leader acting as a symbol of hope for her people, unafraid to
look Cetus in the face, knowing at some level that she ushers in
resurrection and change.
Brady, Bernadette (1999). Brady's Book of Fixed
Stars, Maine: Samuel Weiser
2. Aung San Suu Kyi (1996). Letters From Burma.
General biographical background:
accessed 6th October 2007.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aung_San_Suu_Kyi - accessed 6th October
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