Category: Astrology Fundamentals

Asaph Hall and the Discovery of Deimos

Deimos (dread) and Phobos (fear i.e. phobia) in Greek mythology, were he twin sons of Ares (Aries in English; Latin Mars) who accompany their father into war. Ares along with Eris (goddess of chaos) & Enyo (goddess of war and destruction) were the only children born of the union between Zeus and his wife Hera; Zeus obviously did better elsewhere.

Deimos and Dr. Hall

“I repeated the examination in the early part of the night of 11th [August 1877], and again found nothing, but trying again some hours later I found a faint object on the following side and a little north of the planet. I had barely time to secure an observation of its position when fog from the River stopped the work. This was at half past two o’clock on the night of the 11th. Cloudy weather intervened for several days.

Dr. Hall’s notes on Deimos discovery
the Mr. Peanut Moon, Deimos

When Dr. Asaph Hall (Asteroid ASPH is named in his honour) discovered the twin satellites, long thought to revolve around the planet Mars, he named the first Deimos (discovered on August 12th) and Phobos (August 18th, almost a week later) appropriately enough. Both because of their very odd shapes, more like peanuts than our globular satellite the Moon, were argued to be asteroids. Their size did not help the argument, Phobos, is only 14 miles across (22 kilometers), while the smaller, Deimos, is only 8 miles (13 km), making them the smallest moons in the solar system; in comparison, our Moon has a diameter of 2,519 miles which sounds enormous but is still about 80% the size of our favorite planet, Earth.

“I dare not affirm that I was able to observe the phases of Mars; nevertheless, if I am not mistaken, I believe that I have seen that it is not perfectly round.”

Galileo, December 30 1610 in a letter to a friend

Galileo’s observation is thought to because Phobos — its orbit is the closest to its native planet of any moon in the solar system — was too close to Mars to be seen separately. It’s shape does not help as it seems to hug its mother planet.

Rather ironic is that Mars 18 Pisces 34 was in Pisces when Deimos was discovered, because Venus is exalted in Pisces at 15 degrees and that cannot be a good place for Mars. But Venus was not in a good place either, for she is found in her detriment in Virgo opposite Mars that is in the essential house of Virgo! While Virgo is in the essential of Pisces where she is exalted — do we remember that Milton Bradley game Twister!

It gets better, Jupiter is in its lord, Sagittarius in the 4th house and happily sextile Moon and the Asteroid ASPH — suggesting it was giving some extra light to the discovery but it is in the first house that is ruled by the Sun that is in good friend Leo but in the essential house of Aquarius where it is in detriment.

Pluto, not found for another 50 years is in the 9th house, giving a a big boost to Dr. Hall’s career and long studies of Mars’s orbits. And finally, the ascendant is 22 Virgo 46 getting [HS] Typhon’s Bone — Typhon for which typhoon is derived, was the father of all monsters. It’s keyword is “inevitable.”

Asteroid vs Satellite

So what’s a moon a satellite and not an asteroid?

Well Phobos’s orbit is the key. Despite what astrology says, the Moon is not a planet — it is a satellite because it, like other moons in the Solar System, revolves around a major planets accompanying them in their revolutions around the sun. The Sun is the key, for it literally is the center by which all other bodies revolve. It’s size is tremendous — greater than 600 times as massive as all the other bodies combined. This incredible mass makes it central and gives the whole thing, its name (solar is Latin for Sun) — Solar System.

Are the four colours of twister really the four elements of the zodiac?

As so, because the satellite’s long axis is always directed toward Mars; like like our Moon to the Earth, and its rotational period is equal to its orbital period, Dr. Hall was able to prove conclusively it and Phobos’s were Moons.

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Radiant Coco Chanel

Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, the great couturier , was born on August 19, 1883 in Saumur France at 4 PM. Her ascendant is 30 Sagittarius, a secret business meeting, apropos for someone who held court with the Nazi SS during the Second World War. It is also conjunct the Galactic Center (26 Sagittarius), that imaginary point in our Milky Way that the Sun and the Moon and all the stars revolve around. It seems rather apropos. While Madame never married and had no children, her 5th house is populated with the various tools for her creation: Mars (cutting fabric, the precision of a tailor), Saturn (her classic style) and Pluto (transforming sewing into high couture) in the Radiant House System that we are highlighting but not in the modern Koch (see both below).

Janus gives several, not many, charts with the software all highly rated for accuracy and almost just as many house systems. I picked hers because I thought it good choice with the unknown “Radiant” system, not knowing what I would get. She is not part of the Jones 1000, and I think that is serious miss. About the Radiant, Janus writes

The Radiant House system (B) 1st=Anti-Vertex, 10th=Mc. It is the same as HORIZONTAL and Zenith house systems. The horizontal circle is cut at 30 deg intervals starting at the East Point of the horizon, and they are projected onto the ecliptic using vertical circles. Its origin is unknown. Note: Only suitable for latitudes between 24 and 90 degrees.†

Janus software help section
Because the East Point, also called the Eastern Ascendant, is so important in this chart system we depict it on the chart. On Chanel’s map it is at 26 Capricorn, a content in luxury.. It is not the Vernal Point (Vp) but where the Eastern Horizon intersects the Prime Vertical (a Great Circle passing through the Zenith and the Nadir of the birthplace) and the Celestial Equator (a Great Circle corresponding to the Earth’s Equator projected onto the Celestial sphere.) The East Point is how a person projects themselves to others.
The differences between Radiant and Koch are striking but both show how her ascendant is conjunct the Galactic Center.

#56 Alice Bailey: the New Age awaits

Alice Ann Bailey, often called AAB, was a woman ahead of her time. Born June 16, 1880 as Alice LaTrobe-Bateman in Manchester, England at what we have reckoned to be 9:50 pm. She first married fellow Christian evangelist British Walter Evans but this union ended in divorce as Bailey’s occult philosophy developed. Later, after relocating to New York, she married American Foster Bailey and had 3 children. Prescient, she coined the world “New Age” and her book on the “Law of Attraction” had Charles W Leadbeater, founder of the Catholic Liberal Church wild in agreement. James Allen’s New Thought classic, As a Man Thinketh, owes much to this latter work.

Bailey wrote over 30 books, and founded the Lucis Trust in NYC in 1921 to promote her ideology. She added the Arcane School in 1923, World Goodwill in 1932 and Triangles in 1937. The latter groups purpose was to bring people together in groups of three to meditate daily. The purpose was that by creating a triangle, their meditation would emanate outward and raise the general level of spiritual awareness. One of her prediction was that a new messiah, the Master Maitreya, whom she wrote was the teacher and ultimate godhead of Jesus Christ, would appear in the last quarter of the 20th century. No one is sure though if that meant that the Master was born or known.

Bailey full of abundance

AAB is rectified to 16 Capricorn “boys and girls in gymnasium suits.” This shows how her life was a never ending adjustment of ideals and motives so she may tap into the potentials of human experience. The symbol’s keyword is “Animation” and near asteroid Photographica, an aspect that shows up in photographed people’s chart  than those who photograph. 

Her Part of Fortune is conjunct her Moon in Libra in the 8th showing her drive towards exploring the many facets of mind-body connection. Despite being a bowl she only 1 conjunction in her chart, an aspect she shares with French feminist-author George Sand. Marc Jones wrote that this lack is a greater tilt towards personal responsibility in daily life and lessening of ties towards society. (The Essentials)

same chart with asteroids

Her Sun at 26 Gemini is directly opposite the Galactic Center at 25.11 Sagittarius highlighting her strong drive to prove not only her beliefs but herself and thereby re-creates her personality. Asteroid Urania is conjunct Saturn in the third, so it is no wonder that she wrote “Esoteric Astrology”, discussing her theory of the 7 rays that students can tap into for a fuller understanding of the universe. On the other side of Saturn in the 3rd house at 26.32 is Psyche at 10.18 who is also close to Neptune at 13.31 and from that stellium out came “Esoteric Healing” and the call for holistic medicine. As Cupido-A is near Pluto in the 4th , and conjunct via translation of light to Aesculapia at 28.55 Taurus, this search for great health could be an outgrowth of her own fear of sickness and old age.

Like General Adams asteroid Sappho (Leo 06.16), named for the Greek poetess whose poetry had a personal appeal, is near Mars (09.04 Leo) but neither it is partile nor in the 12th house. Still, the asteroid is about how we make friends because of our personal charisma, and in the 6th shows her friends with Lucis co-workers.

Mrs. Bailey died December 15, 1949 in New York City leaving her autobiography at 400 pages, unfinished.

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Today’s Draconic Chart by the Reverend Pamela Crane

In 1987, the Reverend Pamela Crane devised the Draconic System. Kepler, and I imagine Sirius, have it. So does Solar Fire. Crane’s purpose in creating the Draconic zodiac was to reveal your “illuminating sense of purpose.” The draconic zodiac starts at the Moon North Node’s (NN) that becomes the Aries Point of the chart. Then the absolute longitude of the NN is then measured against the absolute longitude of each planet. When the absolute longitude of the NN is greater than the planet typical zodiac arithmetic applies: add 360 to the planet’s absolute longitude and subtract from that sum.

Today’s Homework

Here is an example: today’s Sun is 20.27 and the NN is 19.00 Cancer Rx. Since Cancer is higher than Gemini, normal arithmetic follows (3 times 30 = 90 for the NN and 4 times 30 for the Sun = 120.27.

120.27-90.00 = 30.27 puts the Sun at 1.33 and since Cancer is higher than Gemini, this is Pisces i.e. minus 1 house from the Ascendant which is always Aries 00.

We do the same everything in the chart and get the Draco chart. The minutes maybe off, as we are not calculating seconds like the software does, but it’s close enough. The green chart below is normal geocentric chart for today, while the Purple chart on the right is the Draconic equivalent. (there are minor difference in time because of copying and re-erecting the next chart).

In the green chart dutiful Neptune is in its own ruler Pisces in the 7th suggesting we have to face our responsibilities to other people today. In the Draconic chart, this aspect is much closer and thus more important (closer aspects always have a higher degree of importance in a chart, hence why we highlight 1 degree aspects on our charts). The planets at the Midheaven do not change, but their sign does — now the Midheaven is in fixed Aquarius (universal brotherhood) while in the normal geocentric chart it is in mutable Gemini (either or).

Overall the Draconic chart for today, highlights thinking of others, or our spiritual work. Our Draconic ascendant is 10 Virgo ( the round stone hidden within another or not always consciously understanding how what we do has repercussions for later). The green chart gives a fixed ascendant and 10 Taurus (parrots on an orchid plant or flocking in beautiful places) suggesting that today is a great day for hitting the beach– or the lake –for a frolic.

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We continually review our posts for accuracy and new information. This one was re-examined on 12 October 2019.

The Asteroid Lilith Discovery & Lili Boulanger

Marc Jones wrote very little on the nodes, so last month we took a turn with several other authors and highlighted their work on the nodes. Naturally, we found some better than others like Martin Schulman, Georges Muchery and Bernice Grebner, but in all honesty we did not survey Dr. Mohan Koparkar, Haydn Paul and the Hubers, so this month, June,we are going to continue our with the nodes, highlighting them.

Each month we will be discussing another popular asteroid or transneptunian planet. This month we start the parade with Asteroid Lilith which discovered on February 11, 1927 at 11 pm Parisian Time  by Benjamin Jekhowsky, himself a Russian emigre born of noble parentage, at the French Observatoire De Paris, the national astronomical observatory of France. The observatory was founded by Louis XIV at the instigation of J.-B. Colbert, and construction at the site in Paris began in 1667. It was enlarged in 1730, 1810, 1834, 1850, and 1951 and now houses the headquarters of the International Time Bureau, where the standardization of time occurs for the world’s observatories.

Gian Domenico Cassini, the Italian born French astronomer, was the first of four generations of his family to hold the post of director of the observatory. He was born  Jun 08, 1625 · Perinaldo, Kingdom of Genoa, Italy and died Sep 14, 1712 in Paris, France. The NASA Cassini space probe was named in his honour. The list of all 75,000+ asteroids with their numerical designation can be found here.

Asteroid Lilith is conjunct the Midheaven at its initial debut and is trine Saturn in Sagittarius and just barely, the Aquarian Sun. Apropos to its namesake, it almost has a second grand trine, this time in water, but is missing something in Scorpio. Searching, we found Asteroid Diana, the Virgin huntress, at 18.50 Scorpio. In Greek Myth she is Artemis, the daughter of Selene (the Moon) and Zeus (Jupiter). The Asteroid Lilith is at Leo 7, “the constellations in the sky, ” a symbol that her discovery and subsequent naming was in tune with the infinite. The ascendant at 30 Libra supports that as it is at an anaretic (critical) degree.

There are 3 Liliths used in astrology. The Asteroid Lilith which takes 4 years to orbit the Sun; Black Moon Lilith popularized by Demetra George & Dark Moon Lilith also known as the Waldemath Moon or Sepharial’s Moon. We will survey the others in succeeding months. Only the asteroid is a real astronomical body, the others are like the transneptunians, hypothetical.

According to Martha Lang Westcott, the asteroid Lilith signifies, “important decisions regarding competition and / or playing to win.”

Calling Asteroid 1181

Asteroid 1181 Lilith was named after Lili Boulanger a French classical composer not as many believe the Gnostic dark shadow of Eve, Lilith — that is Dark Moon Lilith. Lili was the first female winner of the Prix de Rome composition prize. Her older sister was the famous composition teacher Nadia Boulanger. She rose to fame quite early, when it was discovered when she was two years old, that she had perfect pitch. Her parents, both of whom were musicians, encouraged their daughter’s musical education.

Her mother was Russian Princess Raissa Myshetskaya (Mischetzky), who married her Paris Conservatoire teacher, Ernest Boulanger (1815–1900). Boulanger himself had won the Prix de Rome in 1835 and was was 77 years old when she was born. His father, Frédéric Boulanger, was a noted cellist as was her grandmother Juliette, for whom she was named (Marie Juliette Olga Boulanger). Her father, Ernest, died when she was 7; her mother succeeded her and lived until 1935. Her famous younger sister, Nadia, died in 1979 at 92.

This piece was composed the year she died in memoriam.

Alas Lili was just 24 when she died March 15, 1918 of tuberculosis but in her short life made a great impression in the music world that noted composers wrote music for her that artists still perform. For her chart we picked a morning time that is not fully rectified because of our lack of biographical data.

Lili Boulanger was a Locomotive. The empty houses are highlighted in peridot, the gemstone of her birth month August. In her chart, the yet to be discovered Lilith namesake asteroid is at 7.18 Virgo conjunct her Mercury in a fast mental chemistry position. Asteroid Siwa for sound is at 2.43 Virgo and Asteroid Pandora (unexpected surprises) is partile her Mercury as is Asteroid Photographica. That is prescient — we have lots of photographs of Mademoiselle Boulanger but no recordings.

This hypothetical birth time gives her an ascendant of 23 Virgo or SS “animal trainer” that shows her adroitness and patience in subduing her passions to perfect her craft. It is also conjunct her Saturn, highlighting in her short life the importance of her father and then grandfather.

Interestingly, like Aubrey Beardsley, also born on August 21 in London, she was devoted to things black & white (in her case the piano keys, his drawing) and both died of tuberculosis. None of the asteroids are shown, but asteroid Diana, the Roman equivalent of the Moon goddess and virgin huntress, is conjunct her Sun at 28 Leo, Asteroid Memoria, for memories and memorials, is partile her ascendant sometimes these things are just uncanny.

Sabian Dice for Mother’s Day 2019 & Asteroid or two for Good Luck

We haven’t used the Sabian Dice in a while, so today for Mother’s Day we are resurrecting it. We threw 4.21 which ends up in the fourth house at degree 21 in our chart set for the nation’s capital in Washington D.C. The Sun is also at this degree at 21.11; so are the two asteroids Arachne and Minerva. One degree away is Aesculapia at 22.10; one behind Terpsichore.

Stormy Weather over Saltcoats Bay in Scotland as the waves pound the Harbour and the waves get higher.

Taurus 21 is (HS) the “high wind at sea” symbolizing the constant shifts in our relationships and environments — the weather has been changing so often now it’s hard to know what to expect. Relationshipwise things are always changing there too and they ebb and flow and yet stay somewhat steady — either in one direction or another.

With Aesculapia nearby, it suggests that those of us who have an unhealthy relationship with others and/or our mothers need to break from the web of bad habits (Arachne), purge those automatic reactions and instead focus (Asteroid Minerva, the Roman equivalent for Athena). This is encouraged by our Die falling in between Mercury and Sun, with Mercury leading — stop “overthinking” and dwelling upon what’s wrong and confront the issue (Arachne square the obstructive Moon) no matter how painful.

Hand drawn sketch of spider web, grass and wildflowers. Black and white floral illustration.

Sometimes discussion is impossible, and one alternative to open discussion is to write (Mercury conjunct Minerva) your complaints down in a letter and bury in the backyard — that way you free yourself of the spider’s web (Arachne square the chart’s ascendant) and move on.

The Nodal Connection

Georges Muchery in his Astrological Tarot originally published in 1927, now available as a reprint, writes that the Dragon’s Head in Virgo gives fine aspirations. It is an ideal position for poets and writers (Terpsichore conjunct Mercury opposite the Midheaven).

Statue of Muse Terpsichore Achillion palace in Corfu, Greece. Terpsichore was the Muse of the dance and the dramatic chorus

Alas, the Dragon’s Tail in Pisces denotes deceit in love, or even outright infidelity. The native may unconsciously indulge in gossip detrimental to herself –tell to much? This position also brings physical and moral sufferings, brought about through the native himself. While it often shows general indolence, but when modified by a good aspect of Mars — which we have in the creative fifth house — can be a vehicle for actively getting rid of these problems.

Good luck.


  • Our header image is from Kate Greenaway and her Language of Flowers.
  • Muchery, Georges, The Astrological Tarot, Rider & Co., London, 1927. Reprinted London, Bracken Books, 1989.

Asteroid 25143 Itokawa in the news

Tempe, Arizona

Two cosmochemists at Arizona State University have made the first-ever measurements of water contained in samples from the surface of an asteroid. The samples came from asteroid Itokawa (our header picture is of Itokawa) and were collected by the Japanese space probe Hayabusa.  The team’s findings suggest that similar asteroid impacts early in Earth’s history could have delivered half of our planet’s ocean water.

“We found the samples we examined were enriched in water compared to the average for inner solar system objects,” says Ziliang Jin. A postdoctoral scholar in ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploratio, is the lead author on the paper reporting the results in the May 1 edition of Science Advances . His co-author is Maitrayee Bose, assistant professor in the School.

                                                                                               There’s water in there!

“It was a privilege that the Japanese space agency JAXA was willing to share five particles from Itokawa with a U.S. investigator,” Bose says. “It also reflects well on our School.”


The team’s idea of looking for water in the Itokawa samples came as a surprise for the Hayabusa project. In two of the five particles, the team identified the mineral pyroxene.

In terrestrial samples, pyroxenes have water in their crystal structure.  The name is derived from from the Ancient Greek words for fire (πυρ) and stranger (ξένος) because they are  in volcanic lavas sometimes seen as crystals embedded in volcanic glass.  Originally, it was thought they were impurities in the glass, hence the “fire strangers” but instead scientists were able to discover that they were minerals  captured & crystallized  before the lava erupted.  The upper mantle of Earth is composed mainly of olivine and pyroxene.

The NanoSIMS measurements revealed the samples were unexpectedly rich in water. They also suggest that even nominally dry asteroids such as Itokawa may in fact harbor more water than scientists have thought.  Read the full story at Science News.


            Where is Itokawa?

itokawa.pngIn astrology, the asteroid Itokawa is named for the Japanese scientist Dr. Hideo Itokawa or “Dr. Rocket”.  Dr. Itokawa (born July 20, 1912 – February 21, 1999)  is the founder of the Japanese Space Program, thus the asteroid is  used in astrological charts to highlight astronomical or rocketry discoveries and advances.  In our  chart, Itokawa is at 05 Cancer (HS) “celebrities conversing at a banquet in their honour” two degrees away from 03 Cancer (HS) in “clouds, there is a source of rain.”

Kudos to Dr. Ziliang Jin and Dr. Maitrayee Bose for the pioneering research.