PHOLUS AND THE WILD
Why it has been so difficult to find the centaurs? Only 9 since 1977? While the Kuiper belt outside of Neptune and much harder to observe, found in 1992, is nearing 100 already? It seems to me that they are like lone-wolves, roaming alone or in small packs in the wilderness, far from man but telling him something about himself.
The wolf is a part of ourselves that is socially feared and shunned. But he has great shamanic power. He is outcast and wounded, he can be both loving and fierce, he knows his ways amidst sheer emptiness and hunger, he lives in the solitude of far away and dangerous places. He is wilderness himself, inhospitable nature, like the dark forces of instinct inside of us, but he also incarnates the nobility and sacredness of the wild, and he may come to us with the wisdom of winter... as teacher and healer of our hunger and loneliness inside.
This, astronomically, can be related to the dynamics of the centaurs. Consider the orbit of Pluto, with its high inclination of 17 degrees, its high eccentricity of 0.28, and its period of 248 years. Well... the Centaurs are much more of this, but closer to us. Pholus inclination, for example is 24 degrees, its eccentricity 0.57, double that of Pluto, but its period is about as much as a human can live, i.e., about 92 years.
Pholus approaches us like a big bird, hovering above and
resting for a while, but then leaves and flies to the heights, away from
our reach, back to the timelessness and infinity or inhospitability of
the Neptune/Pluto realm from which he comes. This is his nature. But, for
a while, there is communion with the immense otherness of the light and
the death of our lives.
2-Dances With Wolves.
Remember "Dances with Wolves"? Remember "White Socks" that became his friend? Remember that scene when John Dunbar was offering food to him and they finally touched each other briefly?. Well, that was in 1990, I think, or 1991. Pholus reached perihelion in 1991. He was visiting us at that time, a few months before it was discovered. "Dances with Wolves" appeared and told us something about the dying American Indian culture, about the wild, about ourselves, all symbolized by the noble and shy figure of White Socks.
Kevin Costner was born January 18, 1955, at 9:40 PM PST in Lynwood, CA. (data from Louis Rodden cited by Richard Nolle). We have:
Sun = 28,22 Cap
Chiron in transit was stationary retrograde in 27,20 Can in Nov.1990, near the time the movie was released, an was in full opposition to the Sun/Chiron conjunction by the middle of 1991, after Kevin Costner received the Oscar. Again, as in the case of Steven Spielberg with "Close Encounters", the opposition objectified and released the meaning of the conjunction to the world.
His Moon-Pholus exact sextile reminds me of the scene when he is playing with White Socks in the open field of the prairie, which is when the indians gave him his name, "Dances with Wolves". The Chiron/Sun conjunction (54') squaring Neptune I associate with his desertion and the conflict he had with his "father", the federal government. This is represented in the scene when, alone at his campsite, he dances and sings the indian way, but in silence, around the fire.
Dancing and singing, like playing, is the ultimate healing.
It comes from our roots in childhood and woundedness, and acts as a restoration
of wholeness. It opens our heart, it takes cultural and social conditionings
away; it happens in a special realm of consciousness where there is no
time and there is contact with our origins. This transcendence of play
is a pholusian theme... especially here, incarnated in the primal innocence
and conditioning-free life affirmation of the Sun and the Moon!
3- Jack London and White Fang.
The last time Pholus had visited the Earth this way, i.e., the last time it was that close to us, was 1900, when Jack London's first book appeared, which he named "The Son of the Wolf", followed by "The Call of the Wild" and later by "White Fang", in 1906. He was one of the most widely-read authors of his time, internationally as well.
Jack London's chart appeared in Maurice Wemyss' "Wheel of Life", and in can be found in his "More Notable Nativities" (ca.1931), from which it passed to the Sabian Symbols' collection and later Erlewine's "Circle Book of Charts". It is made for January 12, 1876, in San Francisco, at 2 p.m., but there is no source. With this time, one finds:
Sun = 22,07 Capricorn
The progressed Sun made opposition to natal Uranus in July, 1902 and was conjunct natal Venus/Pholus in October that same year. By April 1905 the Sun had reached the square with natal Pluto. He wrote his "Alaskan stories" during this period (age 26-28), right after he had written his first book, "The Son of the Wolf", in 1900. "The Call of the Wild" was written in 1903 and "White Fang" in 1906. Obviously, from the titles, one sees that they share a common theme, astrologically represented by the aspects above. It is very interesting that while the progressed Sun was conjunct natal Pholus (1902), transiting Pholus passed in opposition to itself over the Meridian axis, thus strengthening the Pholusian overtones of the period.
To me, Jack London's exact Venus/Pholus conjunction (opposite Uranus), activated by the progressed Sun when he wrote "The Call of The Wild", was fulfilled in the image of White Fang; he is London's most intimate and personal values, something that gives meaning to his life, illuminating it and making it beautiful, like a flower in the wilderness. He had been deserted by his father when he was a child (Sun in exact square with Chiron) and a few years before he died at the age of 40, he had settled on a ranch where he built his "Wolf House". "White Fang" is a book about fundamental human values, about freedom, and especially about loyalty and love, but definitely not of Jack London's only: the Sun/Venus-Sun/Pholus conjunction incarnates, becomes, those very things to us.
Pholus is very plutonian in dynamical terms, in how it
acts, but more "human" than Pluto, like White Fang. He crossed the barriers
between wilderness and humanity. He comes from afar and touches us with
the miracle of love (this is the exact conjunction it has with Venus)...
but he has to go. It is like Akira Kurosawa's "Dersu Usala", or like "Greystoke".
It is painful, they are wounded, divided figures forever, in the frontier
of two worlds, not belonging to any, like Centaurs. But there is also something
sacred in them: they are "visitations", full of shamanic, healing power,
because they are teaching/bringing our freedom back to us, our capacity
to love and to be whole.
4- Pholus and wolves.
The modern "awareness" of wolves seems to be related to the Centaurs reaching perihelion: Chiron in February 1996, Pholus in September,1991, Nessus in February 1992... These perihelion passages happen only once or twice in a lifetime, which adds to their significance. The International Wolf Center in Minnesota, for example, opened its doors to the permanent "Wolves and Humans" exhibit in 1993. Another example is the meeting of the IUCN Wolf Specialist Group, held at 0915 hours on September 20, 1995 in Neuchatel, Switzerland (http://www.greywolf.se/wolf8.htm). This chart is very telling:
All 9 centaurs are significantly placed in the chart: 1997CU26
(1,37 Leo) conjunct Moon (4,33 Leo), aligned with Chiron (1,33 Libra) and
Venus (5,05 Libra) conjunct 1995DW2 (5,39 Libra), plus 8405 in 10,13 Libra
and the Ascendant in 18,08 Libra. Pluto is in 28,19 Scorpio in exact opposition
with 1998SG35 in 27,26 Aquarius.
5- The Battle of Little Bighorn.
The Battle of Little Bighorn River started the 25th of June, 1876, at around 4 p.m. Gathered was "the greatest assemblage of plain warriors --2500/3000-- ever to engage an army unit" (Reader's Digest "America's Fascinating Indian Heritage" 1978). Before dusk, Custer and all his men were dead. Today you can see the "Custer Battlefield National Monument" (45n44/107w15).
If I include the centaurs in the chart for this moment, it becomes astonishing. All of them are very dynamically involved, as you can see from what follows below. My words are not enough here to describe the centaur power and radicality of this chart:
Sun = 4,38 Cancer (8th house)
Moon = 0,59 Virgo
Jupiter = 22,58 Scorpio
Chiron = 29,42 Aries
1998SG35 = 21,40 Virgo
When Sitting Bull was killed at the Standing Rock Reservation in Dakota 14 years later (Dec.15, 1890), Pluto/Neptune were at the axis of a t-cross squaring this Moon/Saturn opposition (6,35 and 4,54 Gemini, respectively). 1997CU26 was in 0,51 Capricorn (exact trine to the radical Moon of the battle), and 8405 was in 0,26 Leo (exact quincunx).
When Geronimo died (Feb.2,1909), 8405 was in 1,48 Virgo (only 22' from the radical Little Bighorn Moon, when corrected for precession), I know Geronimo wasn't part of that battle, but his life is certainly linked to it.
Pluto's degree (24 Taurus, taking off that extra minute) reads: "A mounted indian with scalp locks". Pholus is at the axis of the Jupiter/Pluto opposition. Its degree says: "A big bear sitting down and waving all its paws". Looks like Pholus is Sitting Bull himself!
And where is Crazy Horse? He is the Aries Chiron/1995DW2 cardinal axis. When this axis had moved to the conjunction with Neptune, he was stabbed cold blood after having surrendered voluntarily to save his people from starving, at Fort Robinson, Nebraska (Sept.5, 1877: Chiron 4,04 Taurus, 1995DW2 5,47 Scorpio, Ceres 3,18 Aquarius. Little Bighorn Neptune=4,50 Taurus)
The only centaur being a little more quiet at Little Bighorn
seems to be Nessus, in 18,07 Sagittarius. It waited until Crazy Horse was
murdered one year later: 24,02 Sagittarius. Jupiter was then in conjunction
in 24,11 Sagittarius. So it comes as no surprise that the Sun at Sitting
Bull's killing was in 23,31 Sagittarius, nor that Pluto was at 23,52 Gemini,
in opposition to Mars at 25,35 Sagittarius, in square with Nessus at 24,57
Pisces, when Geronimo died.
6- John Muir.
John Muir was born in Dunbar, Scotland, in April 21, 1838 (time unknown). The position of Pholus then was 1,09 Capricorn, and that of the Sun was 0,55 Taurus, in exact trine. He died December 24, 1914, in Los Angeles; the significant positions at noon are:
Sun = 1,51 Capricorn
Pholus = 29,40 Scorpio
So there was a very exact Sun/Mars conjunction exactly over natal Pholus, in exact opposition with transiting Pluto, while Nessus was at the exact axis of a t-square in Aries. Striking. But this death chart is not merely what "killed him". It is a spiritual summary of his life.
It is said that John Muir worked in mechanical inventions until he had an industrial accident that nearly cost him an eye (natal Mars in 18,59 Aries, natal Pluto 16,43 Aries), in 1867, when he was 29. It was then that he decided to become a naturalist, and visited the Yosemite region for the first time, in 1868. His progressed Sun was then going from 28,58 Taurus (on April 21, 1867) to 29,56 Taurus (1868).
This is how the accident that blinded him for weeks is described by one biographer:
<<This was the central, pivotal event in Muir's life. Plunged into despair, depression, and literal darkness, Muir experienced something of a conversion as his sight slowly returned, and he came away from the accident inspired with a new sense of purpose. When a doctor first told him his sight would return, he wrote, "Now had I arisen from the grave.">>(God and John Muir: A Psychological Interpretation of John Muir's Life and Religion by Mark R. Stoll).
The accident happened March 5, 1867. If you examine secondary progressions and transits to the birth planets (angles and Moon excluded, since we don't know the time of birth), you won't find anything that describes it, unless you consider the position of Pholus at death 47 years later: 29,40 Scorpio. We saw that the progressed Sun was in opposition to this point one year after the accident, corresponding exactly to his first visit to Yosemite Valley, which became his spiritual and physical home. Converse transits for the day of the accident (5 March 1867 = 7 June 1809, the time of Pholus perihelion!) also reveal nothing special with respect to the natal planets, but we find Saturn in 29,46 Scorpio! (precession corrected).
If we remember that when John Muir died the Sun (and Mars)
was in 1,51 Capricorn (0,47 precession corrected), in exact conjunction
with his natal Pholus at 1,09 Capricorn, the connection between Pholus
and his life is inevitable. All we need to do is accept the idea that the
chart of death is a spiritual summary of a person's biography.
7- Greystoke and Highlander.
I have always liked Christopher Lambert's characters a lot, maybe because his birth (March 29, 1957, 16:43 GMT, 118W11/47N38, from Zodiacal Zephyr's "Celebrity Data") is close to mine. He is well known for his "Highlander" character, almost mythological, very much an archetypal wolf in the good sense: outcast, wounded, noble, fierce and warrior-like, very lonely. His last movie, by the way, made in 1998 and soon to appear, is called "Beowulf".
He has the following "solar" centaur configuration at birth:
Sun = 8,44 Aries
There is a progressed solar eclipse of the Sun in 9,23 Taurus which happened in 1988, when he was 31. This eclipse becomes the focus of a t-square, with Pholus and 1994TA. By this time he had made 3 movies that had launched his international career: "The Sicilian" (1987), Highlander (1986), and his first important film, issued at the end of 1984, which is very significant because all his other characters resemble very much the one he interpreted here, in his first important movie of 1984.
Pholus, which is in exact sextile to his Sun at birth, was stationed in 8,03 Aries, going direct, in December 1982 and January 1983. Before this time, Christopher Lambert had appeared in 3 French movies, in 1980, but he wasn't "known" by the world yet. His next movie was that of 1984 we are talking about, which was the real start of his success. I don't know what happened between 1980 and 1984 in his life, except that he had that Pholus station, tecnically very significant because it makes exact conjunction with his natal Sun, with which it is configured by an exact sextile at birth.
And this natal Pholus becomes a very important key to his life, not only because it is in sextile to the Sun (orb=0,16) but because the progressed solar eclipse "triggers" it (actually, it forms an axis with 1994TA). So, between this transit station of December 1982 and the eclipse of 1988, he made 3 movies that portrayed a similar, emblematic character. We can assume that this has at least "something" to do with Pholus, especially the first one of 1984, being his first significant film and closer to the Pholus station that "seeded" his natal Sun.
Do you know what is the name of this first movie done in
1984? It is called "Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes".
8- Gorillas in The Mist.
Dian Fossey was born January 16th, 1932, in San Francisco, and was murdered at her Karisoke campsite in Rwanda/Zaire the night of December 26, 1985 (www.eb.com/lives). When she died, transiting Mars was in 7,26 Scorpio, in conjunction with Pluto in 6,47 Scorpio, which maybe has something to do with the way she was killed (with a machete), although the case was never solved.
Transiting Sun, was then in 5,03 Capricorn, in sextile with the Neptune of birth (7,38 Virgo), a relationship that becomes significant because at the time of death it was in 3,24 Capricorn, conjunct the Sun. This could be related with the Karisoke Research Center and the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund that survive after her death, as well as the movie issued in 1988 for which she received some money used to foster her cause.
But what is intriguing is the position of Pholus at birth (5,46 Capricorn). Her Sun at death is in exact conjunction with it. This, to me, is a sign that Pholus is a key to her life. <<In 1970, her efforts to get the gorillas to habituate to her presence were finally rewarded when Peanuts, an adult male, touched her hand. This was the first friendly gorilla to human contact ever recorded.>> (quoted from The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International page).
Sigourney Weaver was born Ocotober 8, 1949. She has Uranus in 5,01 Cancer, 8405 in 5,52 Cancer, in exact opposition to the Sun at Dian Fossey's death and Pholus at her birth. And Dian Fossey's natal Sun (noon GMT) is 25,10 Capricorn, conjunct Saturn in 25,35 Capricorn, in exact conjunction with Sigourney Weaver's natal Pholus in 26,06 Capricorn. Sigourney Weaver became resident Honorary Chair of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund after she made the film.
So, here we are: John Dunbar "touching" and playing with shy and lonely White Socks, extraterrestrials "touching" humans with a smile, John Muir bathing himself in the light of the mountain range, Dian Fossey "touching" Peanuts, later dramatized in Digit being killed and hunted for his hand... These are all symbols, dreams of communion with the vastness of life. But Dian Fossey usurped the territory of the gorilla poachers, John Dunbar crossed the borders of his own identity and became a deserter...
All we have to do is use our imagination and see how this is applied to our own lives. I found a poem when navigating after Dian Fossey's birth data. This is how it ends:
9- Conclusion: Symbols of the Wilderness.You let him touch you, both in mind and heart;(Raphael Carter, http://www.chaparraltree.com/scison)
Wolves seem to me a perfect symbol of the images that appear in my mind regarding the Centaurs. I like the wolf imagery, and find it fruitful, much more than the Greek myths, because it allows us to see the beauty and nobility of what seems to be dangerous or evil. I have lived with Pluto all my life, and he has taught me how magnificent and beautiful the light that is in the darkness and in pain can be. If I cannot embrace the beauty and the love there is in fear, darkness and death, my own and others', then I'm dead already.
The relationship of Pholus with the demythologization of wolves or with what they represent symbolically to us is an astronomical and historical fact, and the wolf-metaphor has allowed some of us in the "Chiron and Friends" forum to better understand the negative characteristics that were described of Pholus and the other centaurs from a more profound psychological point of view. This will be shown better as we go deeper in our study of Pholus, and particularly when we study Nessus.
If we put Pholus and the other centaurs aside, maybe we could explain everything with the regular planets. We could elaborate a lot and make a case for this. The main reason to reject Pholus from astrological consideration is because it is too small, about 15 times smaller than his cousin, Pluto, already small. Another reason may be that it wouldn't make sense to use it because then we would have to use all the other asteroids and there would be chaos and confusion instead of clarity.
These type of reasoning exemplifies very well the nature of Pholus itself, what it represents in our lives, and it is also a magnificent representation of the figure of White Fang, the wolf-dog. We think he is at a sub-level, lesser than men, so we can dispose of him. And he is wild, a member of a class that is destined to die because of our sense of superiority. But he will not die. He is the stuff life is made of, like passion. Wolves help us keep our integrity more "primal", making us face what is raw or is not accepted by culture.
The integration we make of them belongs to other planets, especially the Sun, while these small bodies "catapult" experiences, images and relationships that will incarnate our unredeemed parts and therefore are very difficult to integrate while they are there. They will divide us, they will be "in pain", yes, but also will give us immense joy: such is the nature of passion. Maybe they will be integrated in the end; but the experience itself is a visitation, clashing with our conditionings.
The whole thing I am describing may look very plutonian... but maybe it is this plutonian affinity that allows me to "feel" Pholus, instead of thinking simply that Pluto is conditioning my perception of it. That's why I have followed a reasoning based not only in mythology but in orbital dynamics as well. I definitely perceive them as different. It is the dynamics that is similar. Pluto will colour my way of making the interpretation, but the principle acting through Pholus will surface by itself.
In a way, I feel, we are all --humankind-- the parents
of wolves. And they carry such a deep wound because of it. So maybe the
coming of the Centaurs has pointed to the beginnings of a redemption, as
it is shown in "Close Encounters", a redemption which is, of course, our
own healing as humanity.
Juan Antonio Revilla
About Pholus and wolves:
"Some confusion may arise from the use of wolves as symbols of the astrological centaurs, especially for people that came-in late or couldn't read posts from the past, so I'd like to clarify a few points:
"I used the mythological centaur metaphor, as can be seen in the "Centaur thoughts", together with the physical and orbital dynamics characteristics of the astronomical centaurs, i.e., the astronomical metaphor. A line of thinking was followed that is based on transits, not natal positions, and which has been explained in many of my posts, starting with clues found in a Robert von Heeren's article and following with my own experience and reasoning, which I always explained.
"Wolves appeared first in a note by Michael Laursen regarding Jack London's book "White Fang", and I felt that they were a perfect symbol of the images that were beginning to appear in my mind, coming especially from the astronomical characteristics of centaurs, to which I have referred many times. I found this symbol of the wolf momentarily more fertile than the centaur.
"The relationship of Pholus with the de-mythification of wolves or with what they represent symbolically to us is an astronomical and historical fact, related to specific cultural manifestations that correspond sharply with the chronology of Pholus orbital cycle from from one perihelion to another, i.e., each time it approaches the earth every 90 years.
"Evidence has been suggested: the appearance of a very mythical Oscar- winning film (Dances with Wolves), the publication of the emblematic novels of one of the most popular and widely read authors of his time (Jack London), and the life of the genius who invented homeopathy (Samuel Hahnemann).
"I beleive that the wolf-metaphor has allowed some of us in the forum to better understand the characteristic that were described of Pholus from a more profound psychological point of view, but there are obviously many, many different approaches that still have to be explored. However, at least to me, so far, the correspondence with wolves is a fact, both the wolf inside of us as the ones outside.
Here is a thought by John Muir than can be applied to the use and meaning of Centaurs (and all asteroids) in astrology:
<<One is constantly reminded of the infinite lavishness and fertility of Nature --inexhaustible abundance amid what seems enormous waste. And yet when we look into any of her operations that lie within reach of our minds, we learn that no particle of her material is wasted or worn out. It is eternally flowing from use to use, beauty to yet higher beauty; and we soon cease to lament waste and death, and rather rejoice and exult in the imperishable, unspendable wealth of the universe, and faithfully watch and wait the reappearance of everything that melts and fades and dies about us, feeling sure that its next appearance will be better and more beautiful than the last.>>
(quoted from John Muir: The Wilderness Journeys. The Introduction by Graham White)
IN THE COMPANY OF WOLVES (D. J. Sylvis)
When the moon crests the hills
Their eyes are stars,
They run as Diana's companions,
They are brave of soul,
Grey brown white black blonde
They prance through the forest
(D. J. Sylvis)
and a special link:
"We'll never know what motivated him
to come our way. I can only
A WOLF AT THE WINDOW (Ellen Hawkins)
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