ASBOLUS, THE SEER


  Astrologically, I think the Centaurs have the quality of being "outside of time", or in other words, more universal --like Neptune and Pluto--, encompassing basic spiritual categories, such as "light and darkness", "life and death", "sin and salvation", "pain and forgiveness", etc. These are all exemplified in the "passion, death, and resurrection" of Christ. This is Neptune/Pluto symbolism, and the centaurs, in my present understanding of them, bring this symbolism to our daily lives, like dards piercing our heart, both in joy as in pain.

   Neptune and Pluto are riddles, big question marks, like life and death. They are transpersonal forces that wash us away, as if knowing nothing about our basic needs and human fragility. This is where Christ appears, standing before us: he became human, and through this, an answer, not an intellectual, metaphysical, or theological proposition, but a human "Yes, come, my friend": this is centaurean symbolism, also present in the image of Peter, standing in the middle, holding "the keys", like a door. 

   Probably most of you would accept that this is represented by Pluto and Neptune in more traditional astrology... so maybe what we may have with the centaurs is the "humanization" of this symbolism: they are indicators of our more "normal" deaths and resurrections. Pluto and Neptune are not "normal" in this respect, we always have to "go there" when they are active. With the centaurs, it seems to me that their "middle" light/shadow realm is right here with us, as if they "come to us", very much like the hidden spots or secret passages of our own house.

   This ligh and darkness symbolism, which we will see present in Asbolus throughout the material that follows, makes me associate it with John the Evangelist, in the same way that I associate Nessus with Paul and Peter with Pholus.

   The centaurs can build bridges in time and space, like plutonian vortices, "tunneling" through our lives with their ascension and descension motion, in contrast with the planets that move horizontally. They show us all the light and darkness together. This is especially true of the "winged centaurs", i.e., those that have a very large eccentricity; and Asbolus, in particular, is more eccentric than Pholus and Nessus, it has "wider" wings.
 

 THE SCARLET LETTER

  I have always been fascinated by "The Scarlett Letter", from a 1979 TV series with Meg Foster as Hester Pryne; the series was heavily narrated with long passages from the original book by Hawthorne, and you could feel the spiritual atmosphere that the narration was able to create. It isn't difficult to find there what are stronly centaurean themes, which I usually would associate with Pluto... 

   Nathaniel Hawthorne was born July 4th, 1804, in Salem (time unknown), and died June 19, 1864. At Noon GMT, we have:

   Sun = 12,12 Cancer
   Asbolus = 11,32 Cancer 
   Uranus = 12,11 Libra 

   Since we are talking of the Sun here, these aspects should be very basic in his spiritual constitution, his vision of life and of himself, the subject-matter of his literary production, etc. Mercury is also involved: 

   Mercury = 21,00 Gemini 
   1994TA = 21,17 Gemini 

   From this, it is certain then that the Centaurs are strong in his life, his thoughts, his words, etc. So there's no place better to study them than his works. This is how the Britannica speaks of him: <<His greater short stories and 'The Scarlett Letter' are marked by a depth of psychological and moral insight seldom equaled and never surpassed by any American writer.>> 

   This assesment of the work of a man who died in 1864, is impressive indeed. It makes me feel the creative power of a stregthened Sun, here coming as a result of Uranus, and especially of Asbolus, technically speaking. 

   Hawthorne's ancestors had always lived in Salem. The first one, William, was a magistrate who had sentenced a Quaker woman to public whipping, and the son, John, was one of the three judges in the famous witch trials of 1692. Here is a summary, taken from the Encyclopedia, of "The Scarlett Letter": 
 

"This novel tells the story of two lovers kept apart by the ironies of fate, their own mingled strengths and weaknesses, and the Puritan community's interpretation of moral law, until at last death unites them under a single headstone. The book made him famous and was eventually recognized as one of the greatest of American novels... 
"The main character of The Scarlet Letter is Hester Prynne, a young married woman who has borne an illegitimate child while living away from her husband in a village in Puritan New England. The husband, Roger Chillingworth, arrives in New England to find his wife pilloried and made to wear the letter A (meaning adulteress) in scarlet on her dress as punishment for her illicit affair and for her refusal to reveal the name of the child's father. Chillingworth becomes obsessed with finding the identity of his wife's former lover. He learns that Hester's paramour is a saintly young minister, Arthur Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth then proceeds to revenge himself by mentally tormenting the guilt-stricken young man. Hester herself is revealed to be a compassionate and splendidly self-reliant heroine who is never truly repentant for the act of adultery committed with the minister; she feels that their act was consecrated by their deep love for each other. In the end Chillingworth is morally degraded by his monomaniac pursuit of revenge, and Dimmesdale is broken by his own sense of guilt and publicly confesses his adultery before dying in Hester's arms. Only Hester can face the future optimistically, as she plans to ensure the future of her beloved little girl by taking her to Europe."


   Here is the action of Asbolus, the ultimate trespasser among the known centaurs... See the words that appear: 

young girl... illegitimate child... pilloried... adulteress... punishment... illicit... refusal... obsessed... saintly... revenge... tormenting... guilt... compassionate... self-reliant heroine [conjunct Sun]... never repentant... consecrated... morally degraded... monomaniac... broken... confession... dying in her arms... her beloved little girl... 


 JULES VERNE

   Louis Rodden A.B.C has Jules Verne's chart, which cites as souce Gauquelin Vol. 6 #794. He was born February 8, 1828, at 12:06 UT: 

   MC = 15 Aquarius 
   Sun = 18,46 Aquarius 
   Mercury = 22,44 Aquarius 

   He has Asbolus in 19,21 Leo -- in opposition to his Sun.  This makes Asbolus very powerful, the main key to his destiny, his genius, his creativity, his transcendence... Maybe we wouldn't be wrong in describing Jules Verne as a visionary and clairvoyant, a "seer". He is the father of modern science fiction. According to the Britannica, <<he foresaw a number of scientific devices and developments, including the submarine, the aqualung, television, and space travel.>> 

   Verne *broke through* the cognitive limits of his generation and *foresaw* the future, as if his creativity and visionary capacity had no boundaries.  He died when Asbolus was in 21,27 Leo (March 24, 1905, precession-corrected). In conjunction with its natal place. This is meaningful, and "rounds" his life.

   The titles of some of his books are very telling regarding this farthest-reaching (maximum eccentricity) of the Centaurs: "Journey to the Center of The Earth", "From the Earth to The Moon", "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea", "Five Weeks in a Ballon", "The Mysterious Island", "Around The World in Eighty Days", etc. 

   All of them are related: the farthest you can go, the deepest, the highest, the fastest, the widest, etc.

   I don't have Jules Verne's "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Bottom" to quote from, but I have a cd with a striking composition for organ and soprano by a British named Gavin Bryars,  called "The Black River", with a text from Jules Verne's description in that book about journeying over the tenebrous ocean bed. The cd notes remark that <<it entails first and last things, and Bryars is in the mark in pointing out that in this passage Verne's prose, far from descending to the descriptive fact-finding and name-and-number-listing it was accused of, is a very "pure" poetry, awakening awe, if not exactly transcendence. Unsurprisingly, the marvels and mysteries revealed to the encapsulated travellers through the unconscious waters provoke musical techniques...>> 

   Then, we take this symbolism and apply it to everyday's lives. Not "pretty" or "happy" things, for sure. 
 

MABEL COLLINS

   Mabel Collins was born in Guernsey, Channel Islands (49n27/2w36), on Sept 9, 1851, at 8:30 LMT (the time is from a letter she wrote in answer to Alan Leo, who knew her personally). She has the Moon in 2,52 Pisces and Asbolus in 3,17R Pisces. This is a strong doubly applying conjunction!. She was a clairvoyant, occultist and writer, author of an emotionally appalling little book: "Light on The Path" (1885), which is an occult classic. Here are the first few sentences when you open it: 

<<These rules are written for all disciples. Attend you to them: Before the eyes can see they must be incapable of tears. Before the ear can hear it must have lost its sensitiveness. Before the voice can speak in the presence of the Masters it must have lost its power to wound. Before the soul can stand in the presence of the masters its feet must be washed in the blood of the heart.>>
   Mabel Collins' style of writing is passionate and lyrical, very emotional, being part of what Simeon said to Mary in Luke 2,35: "Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed". There is an emphasis on feelings here, apropriate because we are considering an exact conjunction with the Moon.

   Does it sound centaurean? Good reference for the centaur that reaches the highest heights and depths. It is Asbolus, the seer, who is said was crucified by Hercules. 

   She became a widow in 1885, the same year she wrote "Light on The Path", and although she was a close friend of H.P. Blavatsky, who lived in her house in Norwood for several months in 1887, she resigned from the Theosophical Society as early as 1889, due to serious differences with Annie Besant. She died in Gloucestershire March 31, 1927:

   Asbolus at birth = 3,17 Pisces
   Asbolus at death = 3,12 Pisces (precession=1,03')
   Moon at birth = 2,52 Pisces

   From this, we can see that Asbolus may be a clue to her biography, that it "rounds" her spiritual life.

   "Light on the Path" was published first in March, 1885. When H.P. Blavatsky came to England in May 1887, she stayed several months in Mabel Collins' Maycot cottage in Norwood. H.P.B. already knew the book, since a copy was given to her as a gift in the summer of 1886, while she was living in Elberfeld (Germany). As part of her collaboration with H.P. Blavatsky in editing the "Lucifer" journal, "Light on the Path" was re-published in parts in that magazine from September 1987 to January 1888.

   We note a sensitive point in Mabel Collins chart:

   Node = 25,28 Cancer
   M.C. = 23,21 Cancer 

   In October of 1884, she published "The Idyll of the White Lotus", which, according to a commentary written by T. Subba Rao in 1886, was written under the inspiration of "Master Hylarion". That same month, she personally met H.P. Blavatsky for the first time.

   The centaur Pylenor (1994TA) was transiting this point from July 1883 to June 1884, while the Sun was progressing to the opposition with natal Chariklo from February to September 1884. Thus we can say technically that during the time when Mabel Collins became known as a consummated occultist at the age of 32 (the book was published shortly after her 33th birthday), she was being "impregnated" by these 2 centaurs (Chariklo and Pylenor), and it is interesting to note that "Light on the Path" followed with only 5 months of difference.

   Meanwhile, Pluto in transit (in 2 Gemini) was beginning to make the square to the natal Moon in 2,52 Pisces, which lasted until 1885 and culminated with the publication of "Ligh on the Path" and the death of her husband at the age of 33 (the Moon directed by Solar arc was also squaring Pluto from September 1884 to April 1885).

   In "When the Sun Moves Northward" (1912), written in her mature years, we can read the marvelous account of how one night she was taken by the hand by her master ("You suffered enough already...") and was guided to the astral "Temple of Wisdom" with the instructions of writing down each word that she saw written in letters of fire on its walls, and how she kept coming back every night until she had written all of them. This is how "Light on the Path" came to be.

   Let's remember the importance of Asbolus, which is in tight and doubly applying conjunction with the Moon (orb=0,24') in Pisces, and which in my opinion describes very well the spiritual atmosphere of this book, typically centaurean and Plutonian. It was when Asbolus passed by transit over the M.C./Node point, between 1887 and 1889, that H.P. Blavatsky lived with her, at the time "The Secret Doctrine" began to be written. Mabel Collins published "Through the Golden Gates" in 1887, and the transit culminated with her definitive separation from the Theosophical Society in 1889.

[NOTE: Several of Mabel Collins' books can be found at www.theosociety.org/pasadena/tup-onl.htm (unfortunately not "When the Sun Goes Northward"). His chart is #200 of "1001 Notable Nativities" (1917), where she appears under her husband's name, "Mrs. Keningale Cook... well-known worker in Anti-vivisection cause", in reference to the movement created by Frances Power Cobbe (NN#309). A list of all her works is found in w1.403.telia.com/~u40304376/start.htm/collins.htm]


IGOR STRAVINSKY

   Stravinsky was born June 17 [June 5th old style], 1882, in Oranienbaum, 59n56/29e46. His father's diary says: "In the year 1882 on 5th June at noon our son Igor was born at Oranienbaum, Rue de Suisse, Villa Khoudvintzev". (Quoted in "Catherine & Igor Stravinsky" London: Boosey & Hakes, 1973 [unpaginated]). His Moon is in 15,31 Cancer and Asbolus in 15,38 Cancer. Very exact indeed. It evokes the music of "Le Sacre du Printemps", violent, primitive and orgiastic: <<the stabbing isorythms and brutal harmonies shocked the audience into uproar at the first night on 29 May 1913.>> (from the CD).

   Here is the description of a "vision" (Moon) he had of the subject-matter of "The Rite of Spring": <<I. A rocky wasteland where boys and girls divide into groups and perform dances leading to a contest rival tribes and a final orgiastic 'Dance of the Earth'. II. The girls' 'Mystic Circles of the Adolescents' reveal the chosen victim: ritual dances culminate in the 'Sacrificial Dance' and the victim falls dead in the convulsive blaze of a savage climax.>>.

   Imagine that you have this conjunction and you have a dream or a vision like this. What is happening inside the psyche that "sees" something like this?

   Stravinsky himself wrote about his father: "He had me constantly in terror, and I guess this circumstance profoundly affected my character. He was very impulsive and living with him was very difficult. He let himself be dragged by sudden and unexpected rage without any regard for the place where he was." Stravinsky consistently detested the memories of his childhood; he was a nervous and hypochondriac child, who suffered from a lack of affection and from the predilection his parents openly showed for his older brother. He wrote: "The question of my physical weakness, taken for granted since the first hours after I was born, was strengthened throughout my youth until it became a conditioning way of thinking... when memories of my older brothers come to me, what I remember is their tremendous habit of annoying me."

   The only loving tie he had was with her German baby-sitter and with his brother Yuri, who died early: "We found in each other the affection and the understanding denied to us by our parents...". His mother was incapable of showing love, and never left his son in peace while she was alive, going relentlessly after him with her gentle sarcasm, which a biographer calls "well-orchestrated challenges and deliberate cruelty". This same biographer calls her a "mother of ice". The composer writes:

"At night I can sleep only when there is a beam of light entering the room next to mine. I ignore the origin of this need, but it goes back to my earliest childhood... whatever it was, this umbilical chord still allows me, at sixty-eight, to go into the assured and closed world that I knew when I was seven or eight years old."
[NOTE: this is re-translated from the Spanish, "Historia de los Grandes Compositores Clásicos", tomo VIII, Olimpo Ediciones, Ediciones Orbis, S.A., 1994 --no reference to the author]

   We could think that they have nothing to do, Mabel Collins' mysticism and Stravinsky's music. But the centaur "rawness" is present in both, as well as the tendency to go the heights and to the limits of expression, breaking barriers and opening doors. Spiritual, redemptive doors to other dimensions of being in Mabel Collins (like in "When The Sun Goes Northward", the most beautiful spiritual book I have ever read), and cultural, artistic doors toward new structures and forms of expression in Stravinsky. In both, Asbolus seems to be related to extremes and intensity. Stravinsky was "l'enfant terrible" of music who liked to shock his public. And Mabel Collins' words are like dards that pierce through the heart. 
 

 BRAVEHEART

  Mel Gibson was born January 3, 1956, at 4:45 p.m. EST (I don't have the birth time source). He has 

   Sun = 12,30 Capricorn 
   Asbolus = 14,18 Cancer 
   Chariklo = 16,00 Capricorn 

   This describes his character very well. It also describes "Braveheart". I always thought he was such an Arian type... but now I know the reason why he is always clashing with everything in his films, always on the rampage. 

   The opposition with Asbolus is the closest aspect of his Sun. Any planet in opposition with the Sun is very, very strong in a chart. I would say it is the strongest planet in his chart, even without knowing the birth time. Asbolus is the key to his character, dynamically speaking. It fits very well, for example, the description of the way William Wallace died, well recorded by historians and masterfully depicted in the film. Here we see the symbolism of Asbolus, the centaur with highest eccentricity, clashing at right angles with the orbits of the "normal" planets. According to the Britannica, Wallace <<was hanged, disemboweled, beheaded, and quartered>>. In other words, he was "crucified", like the centaur Asbolus was. 

   Nobody knows when exactly William Wallace was born. The Britannica says he was "probably" born near Paisley, Renfrew, Scot., circa 1270 (i.e., he was executed when he was around 35, which is another parallel with the Crucifixion). But the date of his public torture and execution is well documented: it was Monday, August 23, 1305, in London... These are the positions of the Centaurs with reasonably well-known orbits for this date, at 8 a.m.:

   Chiron = 24,44 Gemini
   Pholus = 28,18 Sagittarius
   Nessus = 21,03 Pisces R
   Asbolus = 24,06 Leo
   1994TA = 11,53 Pisces R.
   Hylonome = 23,39 Pisces
   Chariklo = 4,43 Cancer

   At first sight, it is interesting to see 2 of them close together in Pisces, and the other 2 in opposition, making a loose T-square with Hylonome. Anyway, only Venus in 20,14 Libra seems to be making a strong quincunx to the Nessus/Hylonome conjunction, a little reminiscent perhaps of the fictionalized presence of the dead wife-lover during his last moments, and the pregnant Queen-to-be who was in love with him...?

   To make the comparison with Mel Gibson, I use the sidereal zodiac, so please disregard the sign positions and consider only the orbs:

   Mel Gibson Node = 22,57 Sco
   Wallace Sun = 22,19 Leo

   Mel Gibson Sun = 18,22 Sag
   Mel Gibson Asbolus = 20,10 Gemini
   Wallace Chariklo = 19,39 Gemini

   Mel Gibson Moon = 5,53 Virgo
   Wallace Nessus = 5,59 Pisces

   The Britannica gives 2 other important dates in the life of William Wallace: the Battle of Stirling, where, being greatly outnumbered, he smashed and destroyed the English army, after having killed the sheriff of Lanark 4 months before, and the Battle of Falkirk, where he was betrayed by the Scottish noblemen and was defeated by K. Edward's archers. These are the 2 great Battles that appear in the movie (the best battle scenes I have ever seen in a film).

   I assume 12h UT for the 2 battles, and exclude the Moon. The sidereal zodiac is used only to make comparisons with the birth chart of Mel Gibson. At the Battle of Stirling, September 11, 1297:

   Sun     = 11,06 Virgo
   Uranus  = 10,58 Virgo

   Jupiter = 11,56 Capricorn
   Mel Gigson's Pholus = 10,54 Capricorn

   Sun/Uranus is interesting, considering the shock this meant for both the English and the reluctant Scottish nobility. A good symbol of freedom and of the military genius of Wallace that gave him the victory. I always thought that Pholus represents an army's cavalry, today consisting in helicopters and tanks... Remember the cavalry charge of the English against Wallace' spearmen in Mel Gibson's version of this battle? Yes!

At the Battle of Falkirk, July 22, 1298:

   Sun = 21,23 Cancer
   Neptune at W. death = 21,28 Libra
   Chiron at Stirling = 20,57 Aries
   Mel Gibson's Hylonome = 22,05 Aries

   This battle in which he was betrayed and "sold" by the Scottish nobility in exchange of lands, has the Sun in exact square to Neptune at his death, and forms a perfect T-cross pattern with a Chironian "wound" coming from the Battle of Stirling. Mel Gibson sees this from the point of view of Hylonome. This makes me think in that scene where he realizes it was Robert de Bruce himself who betrayed him the most, whom he so loved and respected... and after realizing that, he collapsed to the ground and refused to defend himself, as if an invisible deadly spear had thrusted his soul and body...

This vision of Mel Gibson may be confirmed by the following:

   Neptune at Falkirk = 6,01 Libra
   Venus at Wallace death = 5,11 Libra
   Mel Gibson's Neptune = 6,04 Libra

   So perhaps it was Mel Gibson's "destiny" or "gift to us" to bring out the historical and archetypal character of this extraordinary man who by the distortions of history was forgotten by all except the Scotts.

   There's another beautiful film that he produced, directed, and acted, called "The Man Without a Face", in which he portrays a retired, outcast and facially disfigured teacher falsely accused of sexually abusing a troubled pupil who dies in the car accident where his face was disfigured. He lives a very isolated life trying to avoid contact with people as much as he can, until a fatherless boy with problems at school asks him for tutoring. He is able to bring out the boy's talents and becomes a guiding/father figure for him, but is forced by the local authorities to end the relationship, out of suspicion and prejudice. The boy, however, recalls, the day of graduation from the Academy, how the faceless image of his ideal and inexistent inner father was gone, and instead was his teacher's disfigured but virile and fathering face. 

   This is well represented by the Sun making the aspects to Asbolus and Chariklo. They are the strongest aspects the Sun makes, therefore they define Mel Gibson's solar character. It is an exercise in astrological thinking and analogical association to see how the symbolism of "Braveheart" and of "The Man Without a Face" can be traced to the same astrological indicators, and it helps us understand the meaning of these still almost unknown centaurs. 

   Globally, I think Centaurs all refer to crossing through life "on the rim", either trespassing moral barriers or being outsiders, and having to pay the price for this, which is undergoing "your passion", in the way of Christ. In Mel Gibson's case, you can take "The Man Without a Face": the disfiguration, the fear that he awakened in others for his ugliness, the story of death and accusations of sexual abuse behind him, his being ostracized, is Asbolus, whereas Chariklo I associate with his becoming the teacher and the father figure of the boy, but from the perspective of the complete outsider and outcast. It is precisely his condition of outcast what allows him to help the young boy. You can see the dynamics of Asbolus opposing or interfering the conjunction. 

   Braveheart was also an outsider. He (Wallace) came from overseas where he was educated. He's an orphan. He marries at night and in secret. This marriage is the conjunction with Chariklo... but then you begin to see the action of Asbolus which concludes in his being crucified. All of this is making the Sun strong, very strong, out of sheer conflict. He is a Solar Hero certainly. 

    The "crucifixion" of William Wallace, as shown by Mel Gibson's movie, is the vision of Mel Gibson's own Sun/Asbolus opposition. Mel Gibson's "vision" or obsession with the subject is attested by his new film to be released soon, named "The Passion", which describes the Passion of Jesus Christ. This film is creating controversy even before release. Mel Gibson was very distressed when he was forced by Hollywood producers to take out one passage, where Caiphas says something like <<the sin of this innocent blood be upon our heads and our childrens, children's heads>>. The film is being attacked as being anti-Jew or anti-semitic.
   

 DONATIEN DE SADE

   The Marquis de Sade was born June 2, 1740, and died December 2, 1814, at the time of the return of Asbolus: 

   natal Asbolus = 26,46 Cancer 
   death Asbolus = 28,08 Cancer Rx. 

   I think it was Andre Barbault from whom I read a long time ago that Sade's main signature could be seen in the following: 

   natal Venus = 27,04 Cancer (assuming Noon GMT)
   natal Mars = 24,27 Aries 
   natal Saturn = 22,03 Cancer 

   That is, Venus conjunct Saturn with Mars squaring the midpoint in 24,31 Cancer. Very tight! And it is illustrative of the role of the Centaurs in astrology seeing how the presence of Asbolus conjunct Venus (orb=0,26) brings the matter to clear focus.
 

 ANNE FRANK

   Anne Frank was born in Frankfurt am Main June 12, 1929. In the Internet one finds: 7:30 a.m. MET (-1h). This gives: 

   Sun = 20,48 Gemini 
   Nessus = 20,38 Aries 

   Venus = 6,25 Taurus 
   94TA = 7,08 Taurus 

   She and her family and 4 other Jews went into hiding from the nazis in Amsterdam July 9, 1942: 

   tr. Sun = 16,27 Cancer (at 12h GMT) 
   tr. Pholus = 18,55 Capricorn Rx. 

   This is the same opposition that was active when the bodies of the "Heaven's Gate" sect were found. It is a "vulture" opposition and is powerful, especially when you consider that Anne's natal Pluto was in 17,11 Cancer! 

   They never left their hiding place until the Gestapo found them 2 years later. Transiting Asbolus was in exact conjunction with the Sun in August 1942 when the hiding started; it was in conjunction again in June 1943 and the last time in May 1944, so it describes the whole ordeal: Asbolus had put its seed on her... 

   The Gestapo, guided by Dutch informers, found them August 4, 1944. That day, at 12:39 GMT, there was a Full Moon in 11,59 Aquarius/Leo, squaring her natal Chiron in 12,25 Taurus... this Chiron full Moon acted as a trigger. 

   She died of typhus at a concentration camp someday in March 1945, when Asbolus was stationary going direct 1 degree from her natal Sun, getting ready to free her heart and let it fly. 
 
 

Juan Antonio Revilla
San José, Costa Rica, October 4, 1999
 


 
 
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