THOUGHTS ON IMMUNITY
(February 1999)


   The myriads of asteroids are akin to our immune system, or the microbes with which antibodies or leukocytes "engage" in battle. Like them, asteroids are many, disseminated all around the system. Like them, they are essential to our integrity but remain "small",  invisible, unconscious, in the dark. Like them, they act as a collectivity, and produce inflammations and disease, pain... but it is all part of the healing and the striving of the whole to remain whole. 

   Probably not the more regular, well-behaved orbits of the main-belt asteroids, though. I see this immune system analogy mainly in the orbit-crossers, like apollos and centaurs. They are really fighters, catalysts, intensifiers, destroyers and liberators (in other words, all those asteroids with high eccentricity and inclination). They inflict pain, but it is a healing pain. And especially the centaurs, "they come from afar", from the other side, from what is apparently not me, from what looks as my enemy (disease, pain, death) but is really my healer and my very self.

   Crossers like Pholus don't respect boundaries; they will penetrate, like an invasion, into our cultural conditionings, into our shadows, manifesting themselves in areas of our lives which correspond to the planets they cross. They will provoke our immune reaction: this is why we are strengthened, like a homeopathic effect, or like the effects of a vaccine. What looks as an enemy is really a friend, a healer, a teacher on wholeness. It is something that comes from the vastness of life and opens our hearts to the darkness that, after all, was not so dark, and is there for us to love. 
 

   SAMUEL HAHNEMANN

   Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann was born April 10, 1755, at midnight (10-11) in Meissen, 51N11/13E28. The hour is from Notable Nativities, which cites Zadkiel's "The Future", i:166, Feb-Dec.1892, "time approximate". I have no other source, but the "t.a." suggests that they were using one. We have: 

   Chiron = 9,08 Cap 
   Pholus = 11,41 Cap 
   Nessus = 25,08 Sag 
   Pluto = 16,05 Sag 
   Ascendant = 18 Sag 

   July 2, 1843, 12h GMT (death): 

   Sun = 9,54 Cancer 
   Pholus = 6,56 Capricorn 

   Hahnemann died at the time of his Pholus return, which was then in opposition to the Sun, 2.5 degrees past the exact point (precession-corrected), while the Sun was in opposition to his natal Chiron, by less than a degree, and very closely moving to the opposition to natal Pholus. (Transiting Pluto was in conjunction with his natal Sun by 2.2 degrees at the time of death, but if we correct for precession, that would place Pluto only 58' from his natal Sun). 

   I've always believed that the horoscope of death offers us a picture of what the person "left" as deeds in the earth, his work, his legacy, that for which he will be identified by future generations, something that transcends his personal life. So this opposition with the Sun suggests that his consciousness, his will, his purpose, his presence... is strongly identified with Pholus. 

   In 1810, Pholus was at perihelion, staying at his closest distance from Earth. It was in this year that the "Organon" was first published. Pholus wouldn't approach the Earth again until 1901. This may mean something, since Nessus was at aphelion in 1809, at his farthest point from us. 

   I don't know what this Pholus means, but it certainly is here very significant. It shows how revealing dynamical astrology can be, too. But what is he telling us? How would you relate the two, homeopathy and wolves? It can be done with the "similitia similibus curantur" principle. Can you see it?

   What I see as an enemy that wants to hurt me or destroy me, what I keep away and in fear, what is outcast... I can touch... for a while, for a little bit, like a little friend... I can feel... that it is part of me... and by loving, by embracing it without fear... for a little bit.. like a little friend, I can heal.. both them and me!
 

   SOME THOUGHTS ON LUPUS

   There is a disease named after wolves. It is "lupus erythematosus", and is usually mortal. Why was it called "lupus"?

   My encyclopedia says: <<Among the features that lead to identification of the disease are the typical skin lessions, the characteristic way in which the skin reacts to sunlight, the inflammation of the joints that does not cause deformity, the inflammation of the kidneys, and the presence in the blood of autoantibodies that bind to the nucleic acid and protein constituents of cell nuclei. The chemical binding action triggers the inflammatory process. The first of these typical autoantibodies to be recognized was named the lupus erythematosus cell factor.>> [Britannica]

   The end result is that your immune system wants to "eat" your vital organs, and the "wolf" comes from the corrosive manisfestations on the skin, especially the face. These manifestations, following homeopathy, are part of the overall pattern of feelings and personal history, so the disease has the same "face" or personality as the one who suffers it, becoming an expression of a condition of the soul.

...  it is intriguing that 1 in 5 cases of lupus are women.

   To my mind, it is a fixed-sign disease, everything going inside, but, as astrologer Josh Payne suggests, it manifests itself "dynamically", i.e., in a cardinal way (kidneys, face, joints). What is behind that "apparent" cardinality is fixed stagnation. Speaking abstractly, it seems to be a cardinal disfunction coming from an excess of fixicity.

   There is a "stigma", however, associated with the skin lesions in the face, resulting from exposure to sunlight, like a denial of life and warmth, a denial of going out, the stigma being outside what you feel inside about yourself. It is "pholusian" in that it comes from your social alienation and your "hunger inside" that literally eats you to death, evidencing here the plutonian aspects of the centaurs' dynamics.

   
   PHOLUS AND HUMOUR

   Jonathan Dunn, of "Chiron and Friends", has found Pholus associated with the idea of "the fool", applicable, for example, to the self-deprecating type of humour. This is interesting, because humour, symbolically speaking, is one of the most formidable immune reactions.

   Let's think for a moment in the figure of a clown. What is a clown? What happens when one goes deeper into the psychology and personal history of a clown? Is self-deprecation an elevating experience, or is it a symptom? Is Pholus humourous? Or we approach it with a sense of humour, as a device, as a psychological mechanism? Caricaturists, for example, can make a clown of everybody; they are able to portray features that are a very sharp representation of human misery and a form of social criticism. 

   If Pholus "incarnates" in outer experience as relationships with lost parts of ourselves, he may appear as social waste and misfits, orphaned parts of humanity, wounded and wild people, or... human rats. There is a lot of beauty and joy to be found in misery, when it is acknowledged and thrown into the light. This is a Neptunian reality, brought about and transformed by Pholus, "The Fool". Yes!... This is one of the most wonderful and sublime paradoxes of Life. But try to hide it, try to ignore the misery, and you will become a human rat! 
 

THE TRICKSTER

   Jonathan also finds Pholus (together with Nessus) associated with the "the coyote and the roadrunner story", which I think is very appropiate. But putting the t.v. series aside, we find that the coyote, in general, is very strongly a pholusian character, and illuminates the Pholus/fool relationship. "Fool" may not be THE archetype of Pholus,  but one of the characteristic ways it manifests. Probably, the archetype is "the trickster".

   C. G. Jung wrote an essay called "On the psychology of the trickster figure", which appeared in part 5 of a book by anthropologist Paul Radin called "The Trickster: A Study in American Indian Mythology" (1954 in German, 1956 in English). Here are some quotes:

[typical trickster motifs:]
"... his fondness for sly jokes and malicious pranks, his power as a shape-shifter, his dual nature, half animal, half divine, his exposure to all kinds of tortures, and --last but not least-- his approximation to the figure of a saviour."
"There is something of the trickster in the character of the shaman and medicine-man, for he, too, often plays malicious jokes on people, only to fall victim in his turn to the vengeance of those whom he has injured."
"The shamanistic techniques in themselves often cause the medicine-man a good deal of discomfort, if not actual pain. At all events the "making of a medicine-man" involves, in many parts of the world, so much agony of body and soul and permanent psychic injuries may result. His "approximation to the saviour" is an obvious consequence of this, in confirmation of the mythological truth that the wounded wounder is the agent of healing, and that the sufferer takes away suffering."
"If we consider, for example, the daemonic features exhibited by Yahweh in the Old Testament, we shall find in them not a few reminders of the unpredictable behaviour of the trickster, of his senseless orgies of destruction and his self-imposed sufferings, together with the same gradual development into a saviour and his simultaneous humanization. It is just this transformation of the meaningless into the meaningful that reveals the trickster's compensatory relation to the 'saint'".

   Jung relates the trickster character to the "shadow". This "shadow" --as I have suggested in "Political Predators"-- may be strongly related to Pholus, and is part of the "wings" of Pholus seen from the "dark" side.
 

Juan Antonio Revilla 
San José, Costa Rica, February 16, 1999 / June 4 1999