Right now: Moon at 6°51' Gemini, Sun at 27°07' Capricorn
Home Sweet Home and Lunacy
Chapter 10 from "Astrological Repair Manual" by Alexander M Zoltai
Here we are, finally approaching Earth-birthplace of astrology. First, we cuddle up to the Moon, home of much lunacy...
Let's look at that last word more closely since a major purpose of this book is to repair mis-perceptions, and various lunacies are still far too prevalent in the astrological community.
In Old English, lunacy was born in the phrase "mona seocnes" or "month-sickness"-insanity alternating with periods of clear-mindedness. This clearly describes many practitioners of astrology, but, if it were up to me, I'd reverse the order and say they seem very clear-minded for periods punctuated by bouts of insanity. Let's be clear. It's insane to say that astrology predicts events (and, of course, I'm using the word "insane" in its original meaning: not healthy)
This may be really hard for some folks to understand, but here it is: Astrology does not, will not, and never has predicted events. What?! Yes. It's the absolute truth, even if some astrologer "predicted" something for you. (If an astrologer tells you something is going to happen, don't you think that, if it does, there may just be a bit of self-fulfillment in that?) What astrology does predict or reveal is Meaning.
O.K. What if an astrologer says some event happened in your past, and that, in fact, it did happen? Believe it or not, what happened is that the astrologer saw a meaning in the chart and made a very good guess at the exact event. Here's some proof of that:
Many years ago, I had the opportunity to talk to two men, born of different mothers but at the same time at the same hospital. Since they had the same chart you'd think they would have had the same events happening in their lives, right? Well, all it takes is one contrary occurrence of something to disprove a theory and here it is:
There was a strong indicator in their charts at a certain time, and I asked the first man what happened. He said his father had died. I asked the other man, with the same chart, what happened, and he said he'd been on his first nude beach...
Obviously, the same chart had shown two very different events! Then, I asked the first man (by the way, I interviewed these men separately), "What did it mean when your father died?" He said that he'd felt like he'd had shackles removed (his father had been rather authoritarian). I asked the other man, "What did it mean to be on your first nude beach?" He said that he had dropped his shackles... They used exactly the same, and not so common, word to describe what two very different events meant.
See? Astrology predicts meanings.
By the way, it's also insane to attribute the mental faults of some astrologers to the effect of the Moon. The Moon has nothing to do with it. None of the planets have anything to do with it. It's the influence of environment coupled with free-will that warps folks into the fields of lunacy.
So, what's this big, beautiful Moon good for? It just happens to be, from our view on Earth, the fastest cycle we have-27.3 days to be exact-the archetypical Month! Think of it as the second-hand on a cosmic clock with ten hands. By the way, my saying, just a second ago, "from our view on Earth", may be the most important thing we can consider. Astrology from any of the places we've been so far, including this Moon, would be very different! It's very definitely a thing about point-of-view...
The cycle of the Moon gives us many things. One of the most important is a cycle we can definitely feel-if we're not stone-cold numb. Whether or not you've been keeping up with the cycles of your chart, you most likely have a clear feeling for what a "month" means for you-even if only in terms of what you can get done in that amount of time. If you look at a month as the time the Moon spends going from where it was when you were born, around the cycle of Signs, and back to your birth-position, you'll have a marvelous indicator of your personal style-of-living. The Instructions will help you find your personal Moon position and the recommended web sites plus our Forum will tell you how to track it.
The Moon in astrology also acts like a "trigger" for other cycles. (I must reiterate: the actual Moon is not making things happen) Tracking it around your birth chart while being aware of when it's "over" your other planets' positions is a solid exercise in making the internal chart (the one in your unconscious mind) reveal itself in the symbolic chart (the one on paper or your computer screen). How to do this is best left to your visits to our Forum. This isn't a come-on. I'm being as basic as possible in this book for good reason-roots must go deep for trees to stand tall...
If I said the Moon cycle shows the Style of living, then the Earth shows the actual Central Focus of a life. The Earth is going around the Sun, right? In astrology, the Sun is referred to as the Central Focus of life. It's easy to see why, since without it, we'd be dead! So why am I confusing things and calling Earth the Central Focus? It's because the Sun's cycle is the reflection of a moving Earth, and astrology is all about our point-of-view from the Earth. I needed to remind you that the Earth is moving 'cause it's so easy to forget...
So, we'll pair the Earth-Sun year-long cycle of Central Life Purpose with the month-long Moon cycle of Style of Living that Purpose, and we'll have the most important Couple of all the astrological Relationships. So important that, with just Sun-Sign and Moon-sign and an understanding of how to blend their meanings into one "chord", you can impress and astound anyone by explaining the Core of their psychology. Certainly, there are other important considerations, like two or three of the other planets close to each other or the Sun or Moon very near another planet, but Everything else in a chart depends on this "battery" of Sun/Moon. Nothing else would happen without it.
While we're here where astrology actually lives, it's time to get into a little more detail about what the Signs and Houses of astrology mean. We'll start with the Houses, since these are the Space within which everything else happens.
There you are, a newly born babe, taking your first breath (the most accurate moment to use in a birth chart). The space that surrounds you has Meaning. Your unconscious mind is already working overtime, though the conscious ego will take years to catch up, if it ever really does... The unconscious is noting the directions and the various cyclic energies that are ranged around you. Powerful connections are being made between your deep psychological state and the actual space that surrounds you. The imprint of this moment of birth is so profound that an astrologer can look at a chart's meanings and sometimes actually deduce some of the physical happenings at that moment. Certainly, the moment is powerful enough that it becomes, in the full detail of a complete birth chart, the "blueprint" for the rest of your life.
To the East, where the path of the planets rises, is what has been called the "Ascendant" or the beginning of the First House. At the highest point of the planets' path is the "Midheaven" or the beginning of the 10th house. These two positions define the circle of the Houses. There are actually twelve of them, and their meanings will be given in detail in The Instructions. For now, let's look at these two defining positions' meanings.
The Ascendant is the position of your most individualized perspective on life-your "mask", in the old meaning of that word-what the medicine man wore to let a part of his unconscious come out, certainly not something put on to hide behind. If you don't know your time of birth accurately and you can't find it in the records, you need to locate a well-seasoned and rigorously honest astrologer to do what's called "rectification". This is a complex method of working "backwards" to deduce a time of birth. Much can be told from a chart that's approximately correct, but it will be significantly general information, true for many people born at or around the time of your birth.
The Sign that was rising on the Ascendant when you were born is the energy you characteristically use to individually perceive the world. Any planets that are near the Ascendant will blend their functions with your perceptions and become some of your very best "tools" in life.
The Midheaven is the position of your characteristic way of Growing into the world. It shows the way you can best be "objective" about life and, with its accompanying Sign is often used to guide people toward a profession. (Again, I must stress that the chart doesn't "say" which specific profession. What's indicated is the meaning that the profession has in your life. Rather than saying "doctor" or "nurse" or "counselor", for instance, you might see the meaning of "helping others", although this is a very simplistic way of telling you what a good astrologer could say about your Midheaven and its relationship to other factors in your chart.)
All the other Houses in your chart derive their meanings from these two-your individualized way of perceiving life and your unique way of growing into it. The Houses can be thought of as the Activities of your life while the Signs are the Energies you use in those Activities and the Planets are the Functions that channel those Energies in those Activities. Another way to say this is that the Function "uses" the Energy to "perform" the Activity. You'll get a lot of practice with this basic astrological formula in The Instructions when you begin interpreting your own chart!
So, the Houses are determined by where and when you were born and define your Space of Activity. The Signs are determined by the motion of the Earth around the Sun and define the Energies that are used in that space.
There is a moment in the Earth's journey around the Sun that we call Spring-when day and night are equal and day is beginning to be longer than night. This moment and the place the Sun is in at that time is what we call the beginning of the Sign Aries. In a very important way, saying what Spring means is saying what Aries means. There is another time in the Earth's journey around the Sun that happens when night is longest and day is shortest and day is just beginning to increase again. This time and the place the Sun is in then is called Capricorn and (without using any of the negative meanings) saying Capricorn is the same as saying Winter. These two Signs and times determine all the other Sign's meanings, similarly to the Ascendant and Midheaven giving meaning to all the other Houses. I'll direct your attention to the web site link in The Instructions that goes to Khaldea where you'll find more than enough information to go as deeply as you desire into the lush fields of Sign and House meanings...
Earlier in this book I said something to the effect that nothing in astrology has meaning without everything else-kind of like your head means nothing without your neck... Even things like the Ascendant or the first House, which give meaning to other factors, don't have meaning by themselves. It's our position on the Earth and it's relationship to the rest of the solar system that give meaning to Ascendant and first House. When we get to the last chapter, you'll get a feeling for how even this solar system gets its meaning from the rest of space...
Most of my time on this Earth has been spent learning to find the core meanings of the various factors of astrology. The journey has been wild with discovery and, at times, perilous with risk. I mentioned two languages earlier-the one that astrology has crystallized into-traditional words and meanings-and the one that holds the truth. Even though you'll be able to interpret your own chart by the time you finish reading this book, you won't have reached the end of that interpretation until you die. The reason I've stuck with astrology for so many years is that its deepest meanings are the "seeds" that give meaning to everything else. The structure of astrology is, at root, the structure of our psyche.
Bold statement, that! Hard-won truth, too. Back behind all the lunacies of popular astrology, far deeper than anything I can say about the subject, is the ocean of our unconscious mind. Our mind, because, at that level, it is a collective mind-heir to the full history of humanity and parent to any individual ego consciousness. There is a man, someone I've called the Einstein of psychology-Carl Jung. If you want to delve into this magnificent arena of the origin of consciousness, read Jung...
And what about our feelings? Ah! We must travel to Venus to begin to unravel the mysteries of feeling...
Read more chapters from this book:
Chapter 1: Xena and the Hordes
Chapter 2: The River of Death
Chapter 3: Idealism Abounds
Chapter 4: Venus and Her Father's Penis
Chapter 5: Transpersonal Awareness
Chapter 6: Father-Time Is All Spaced-Out
Chapter 7: Promiscuous Gods
Chapter 8: Chaos
Chapter 9: The Ancient Warrior
Chapter 10: Home Sweet Home and Lunacy
Chapter 11: Acid Love
Chapter 12: Messenger of the Gods
Chapter 13: Plasma Love
Chapter 14: Galactic Visitors