Monthly Archives: March 2009

A close call with death

Last Sunday a 14 year old boy was seriously hurt by an electrical discharge on Faro’s Train Station in Algarve, Portugal. Apparently the boy was practicing a “sport” called parkour; when he went over one of the carriages of a parked train he was hit by an electrical discharge, which throw him on to the ground and burnt his clothes and body. He suffered 70% burns on his body and is now recovering in the hospital.

The incident occurred on 29th March at 20:10 at Faro, Algarve, Portugal.
This is the chart for the event:

The ruler of the Ascendant, representing the boy is in very bad condition: detrimented, retrograde, combust and falling from the angle. This not only indicates his serious injure but also describes the event itself. Venus also rules the 8th House, which brings serious danger and the possibility of death.
The boy was practicing an extreme sport, which requires great stamina and involves going through obstacles, something which falls under detrimented Venus in a fire sign; his behavior was reckless (Aries) as it is forbidden to go on top of the train carriages, and he placed himself in danger of death by his own actions (Venus rules both the 1st and the 8th houses).
The electrical discharge itself is signified by the combustion (burns and energy surge) of Venus in a sign of Mars (a hot and dry planet), and its conjunction to fixed star Algenib, of the nature of Mars and Mercury.

He probably escaped death due to the trine of Jupiter to the Ascendant. Venus is in its own term and in mixed mutual reception to Mars, which also helped.
The Moon is in the 8th, but exalted and void of course, it also receiving a square of Jupiter, which is elevated above her, so he survived.

Luís Ribeiro

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Claus Stauffenberg: the man behind the hero

The Hollywood mega-production Valkyrie called the public’s attention to the failed attempt of 20th of July 1944 to assassinate Adolf Hitler, and to one of its protagonists, Count Claus Stauffenberg.

The attempt was meant to trigger Operation Valkyrie, an emergency plan approved by Hitler and intended to come into force in the event of the Fuehrer´s death or physical incapacity. This plot was the last of a series of attempts of the German Resistance to overthrow the Nazi regime. Its uncovering, and the subsequent execution of thousands of suspects, ultimately destroyed the resistance movement in Germany. (learn more)

Although Stauffenberg had no previous personal contact with Hitler, his military rank and functions granted him direct access to the Fuehrer, as well as first-hand knowledge of all his schedules and itineraries; thus he became a key element in the plot.

The birthchart

Claus Stauffenberg was born on 15 November 1907 at 1:00 AM, Jettingen, Germany (source: Astrodatabank, quotes birth certificate in Astrolog).

Claus Stauffenberg’s chart has a predominantly Melancholic temperament, which is prone to solitude and caution, rigorous, spartan in his habits, and a bit withdrawn. These traits are further stressed by the Moon-Saturn conjunction which emphasises and distempers the Melancholic temperament by adding to it a depressive tone. He also has some Choleric traits, which confer on him energetic and imposing qualities; these are also distempered by the two Choleric afflictions of the lord of the Ascendant: the combustion and the square of Mars.

The Melancholic-Choleric combination enhances the dry quality of the temperament (1), thus conferring strong will and a distinct trace of harshness, which is further intensified by the distempered conditions of Mercury (combustion and square to Mars) and the Moon (conjunct to Saturn), often turning into an oscillating behaviour, alternating between periods of solitary introversion and sudden outbursts of impatience (2).

His significator of mentality is Mars, which is in Aquarius, denoting a stubborn mind, determined to have things its own way and at its own pace, not easy to persuade and prone to arguing (due to the square to Mercury). Venus participates with Mars and because it is angular and aspects    the Ascendant, it adds a more polite and agreeable demeanour.

He had a difficult temper, but in social situations he was able to control it, enhancing his better side and deflecting the more aggressive traits of his nature to his military career. He was very determined (due to the emphasis of the Dry quality) and persistent, able to go to extremes to accomplish what he thought to be correct.

His military vocation is shown by the exact square of Mercury, the main significator of vocation, to Mars, its dispositor; note that Mercury rules both the Ascendant and the MC and Mars is in its house of joy. They are therefore strong significators of military vocation. This is further enhanced by the conjunction of Aldebaran, a star of the nature of Mars, to the MC.

In this chart there are clear indications of violent death:

– the ruler of the Ascendant, Mercury, is afflicted by the ruler of the 8th house, Mars, which is in a human sign (3), which points to death by the hands of men;

– the main significators related to death in this chart are placed in violent signs (4): Mercury is in Scorpio, Mars in Aquarius and the 8th house cusp in Aries;

– both luminaries are afflicted by the malefics: the Sun (which is also in Scorpio) has a square to Mars and the Moon is conjunct to Saturn, also suggesting active enemies and possible violence.

The chart also presents several configurations which suggest difficulties and struggle:

– the ruler of the Ascendant is combust and retrograde, and the Sun, which combusts (subdues, obliterates) Mercury, is the ruler of the 12th house, thus bringing into play some hidden or uncontrollable factors (12th house) into his life;

– Mercury squares Jupiter, the ruler of the 7th house of enemies (posited in Leo, a feral sign, in the 12th of secrets and limitations);

– the Moon-Saturn partile conjunction in Pisces, a strong significator for enemies and opposition.

The bomb attempt

Let us now see how these configurations where activated by the time of plot. We will use Primary Directions, Profections and his Solar Return of 1943, which was still active by the time of the bomb attempt, 20th July 1944.

Stauffenberg’s directed Ascendant was at 9º Libra, conjoining the antiscium of his natal Moon-Saturn conjunction in the 7th house (5). This configuration is a ‘red flag’ by itself, as it activates the potential for strong opposors signified by the natal Moon-Saturn conjunction. The Moon is also quite probably the hyleg of this chart, thus having determination over life. Additionally, he was in a planetary period (firdaria) ruled by Mars and the Moon, which due to the significations of these planets in this chart, also reinforces the possibilities of life-threatening situations.

As if these testimonies were not worrying enough, the solar revolution chart presents striking signs of danger.

In the revolution chart we find the Moon, Mars and Saturn conjunct the Ascendant – a configuration which speaks for itself. The Moon and Saturn are significators of enemies in his natal chart, and are activated by the directed Ascendant; furthermore, Saturn is the ruler of the 8th in the revolution chart. As to Mars (6), it is the natal ruler of the natal 8th house. It is therefore a clear configuration of grave and immediate danger, with the possibility of death. The Ascendant and the planets are in Gemini, which in the natal chart corresponds to the 10th house of public image, which emphasises the visibility of the event. Therefore some dangerous (Mars) enemies (Moon-Saturn in the natal 7th) which would come to him in this period (conjunct the Ascendant in the revolution).

The ruler of the Ascendant in the revolution is Mercury, the same as in the natal chart, and again it is combust, only this time in the 6th house, a weak and debilitated place. It receives a square from Jupiter, which rules the 7th house of enemies both in the natal and in the revolution charts. He was in a weak position before his enemies and too debilitated to overcome them – as we can see clearly in the revolution chart.

Helena Avelar


(1) As the Melancholic is Cold and Dry, and the Choleric, Hot and Dry.

(2) For a complete calculation on the Temperament refer to Luís Ribeiro’s article “Judging Temperament: a study of the method”, published in The Tradition journal, 1st and 2nd issues (Autumn 08).

(3) William Lilly, Christian Astrology, page 646: “human signs, denote death by a man, as by arms or violence”.

(4) The violent signs are: Aries, Scorpio, Capricorn, Aquarius and Libra, according to William Lilly, C.A. page 644. For the complete delineation for violent death refer to C.A. page 644, chapter CLVI (of death, whether violent or natural).

(5) This event helped the rectification of this chart; the original time given by Astrodatabank from the birth certificate was 01:00 AM, which corresponds to 10º32’ Virgo rising; the chart was rectified in 6 minutes, which changes the Ascendant into 11º38’ Virgo rising.

(6) To be precise: Mars is in the 12th house, as it does not comply to the 5 degree rule, but its orb still reaches the Ascendant and it is conjunct the Moon and Saturn, which are conjunct to the Ascendant.


Filed under Historical Figure

Lulin’s effects – follow-up

In the current issue (Spring 2009) of The Tradition journal is Luís’ the article  “Comet Lulin: nasty little green thing”. This post is an addendum to that article.

The African country of Guinea-Bissau was shaken to its foundations last week, when two of its leaders – João Bernando ‘Nino’ Vieira, the country’s president, and General Batista Tagmé Na Waié, his political rival – were brutally murdered. Both men died within a short period of time. General Waié was assassinated on 1st of March late at night when a bomb exploded in his office; president Vieira met a violent end a few hours later when armed men invaded his house and hacked him to death with machetes. Besides the obvious political motivation of these murders, there is also an underlying motive of personal revenge, as the two men were long-term rivals. (more details here)

This violent crime can be linked directly to the comet’s traditional significations which are: “death of kings and Grandees, Nobles such as chief rulers”, as mentioned in the article published in The Tradition journal. It was also pointed that: “a comet in Scorpio indicates ‘abundance of war and rebellion’, ‘detriment and damage to soldiers’, ‘contemptions among great men’, ‘death of some eminent men’. (…) Its effects should be noticeable quite quickly because it is oriental of the Sun.”

In this case the “contention” between two powerful men ended with the assassination of one of them, the top military chief, General Waié, and the subsequent revenge taken by his soldiers on his rival, President Nino Vieira. This fits the description of the comet’s significations accurately.

The article also referred to areas where its effects might be felt:

“Its declination ranged from approximately 15ºS to 18ºN, thus in geographical terms its effects will have more emphasis on the equatorial and tropical areas of the planet which have around the same value of latitude. This would suggest Africa (particularly the North) as the place where its effects will be felt most strongly and because that is an area ruled by Scorpio and the rest of the Water triplicity.” As comet Lulin was first spotted in this sign, it is no wonder that its effects were felt in this area of the globe. As we can see on the map, Guinea-Bissau is situated just south of Mauritania, and therefore in an area ruled by Scorpio according to Ptolemy and with a range of latitudes between 11ºN and 12ºN40’.

The comet’s path, during its period of visibility, period crossed the Zodiac from Scorpio to Leo and on the day of the murders it was moving away from a conjunction of Regulus, a star usually related to kings and chiefs.

Let’s now take a quick look to the event chart. According to diplomatic sources quoted on the news, the murder of President Vieira, occurred on the 2nd March at around 5:30 AM:

The human sign of Aquarius rises, and its ruler Saturn is placed in the house of death in the human sign of Virgo. Mercury, ruler of the 8th house, is on the 1st in exact conjunction with Mars, showing a violent death by “human hands” (see William Lilly, Christian Astrology, p.646: “Humaine Signes, denote death by a Man, as by Armes or Violence”), in this case by soldiers (Mars). Mars also signifies the President (as ruler of the MC/10th house) meeting his death, because Mercury is the ruler of the 8th house from the 10th.

The Mercury-Mars conjunction seems to be the key element in this event, and the nature of the comet Lulin is also Mercury-Mars (see full article in the The Tradition for details). At this time the comet would have been opposing the conjunction and squaring the Moon. In fact, the murders occurred within a few hours of the exact Mercury-Mars conjunction, as we can see in the timeline:

– 1st March late night (exact time not found), general Waié is murdered in a bomb attack;
– 2nd March, 03:05 am, the Mercury-Mars conjunction perfects (this was the third conjunction of a series of three, due to Mercury’s recent retrogradation from Aquarius to Capricorn);
– 2nd March, around 05:30 am: President Vieira is hacked and shot to death in his mother-in-law’s house, after a siege which lasted at least one hour.

There is also a possible interaction with the Presidents nativity – Nino Vieira was born on 27th April 1939 (time unknown). Despite the unfortunate lack of a birth time, the natal Moon would be posited between 9º and 23º of Leo, therefore close to the opposition of the Mercury-Mars conjunction degree. This area of the Zodiac was also the place of the two last eclipses (a solar eclipse at 6º Aquarius, and a lunar at 20º Aquarius-Leo).

These were the almost immediate effects of comet Lulin – a shocking and violent crime, as it would be expected judging by its nature. Let us hope this was Lulin’s darker side and from here on its effects become dimmer.


Filed under Current events, Mundane Astrology, The Tradition journal

The Tradition journal – 2nd issue

The second edition of The Tradition journal is now available by following this link. The following list of contents will give you an good idea of the subject matter in this huge Spring issue. For those who haven’t read the first edition, it is still available as a free download, but the second issue is a paltry 5 euros the whole of which will be donated to charity (see The Tradition web site for further details).


Expert opinion
Top astrologers comment on the subject of house division

Modern Myths – Non Cogunt
The Tradition, fate and freewill, by Sue Ward

The Theoretical Rationale Underlying the Seven Hermetic Lots
Chris Brennan addresses the principles behind the calculation of the seven Hermetic Lots

Astrological Software and the Practice of Traditional Astrology
Luís Ribeiro underlines the features for good Traditional astrology software

On The Great Conjunction or The Development of an Idea
Peter Stockinger explores the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction throughout history

‘Zodiacal releasing from Spirit’: a rediscovered Hellenistic method of prediction
An exposition of this interesting technique by Martien Hermes

Signatures – As Above so Below: Jupiter
Oscar Hofman continues to explore the universe of planetary correspondences

One King, Five Birthdays
Royal charts, wrong dates and complicated calendars, by Monique Roussy

Can we live without them? Traditional chart interpretation and the modern planets
Interpreting charts without the new planets, a practical approach by Helena Avelar

Credit-Crunch, Boom-Bust… Jupiter-Saturn
Sue Ward studies the current economic crisis from the perspective of the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction

Judging Temperament (Part II): a study of the method
The practical application of the temperament technique, by Luís Ribeiro

For Posterity – King Sebastian’s Nativity
Three curious astrological documents on the nativity of King Sebastian of Portugal, by Helena Avelar & Luís Ribeiro

By the Book – Ali ben Ragel, “on Terms”
By Helena Avelar

On the Heavens – Lulin comet: nasty little green thing
By Luís Ribeiro

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