|Date: Fri, 01 Nov 2002 11:03:54 -0600
Subject: [Centaurs] Father Damien
<<In 1873 a position in the leper colony on Molokai was offered
to the missionaries in Hawaii. Many were reluctant to even consider the
position, as it meant that they would never be allowed to leave the island
but Fr. Damien volunteered to minister to these people. It is for this
work that Fr. Damien gained a wide reputation and is still remembered.
He worked to restore humanity and dignity to these outcasts of society
and in the process contracted leprosy himself. In 1885 Fr. Damien was diagnosed
with leprosy but he refused to give up his work or to leave the island
He was born Joseph de Veuster in Tremeloo, Belgium, on January 3, 1840. I use 12h GMT as reference:
Venus = 26,19 Scorpio
Mercury = 19,50 Sagittarius
He has been quoted as saying: <<I make myself a leper with the lepers, to gain all for Jesus Christ.>>
<<While in Kohala, Father Damien wrote to the Father General
that many of his parishioners had been shipped to a leper colony on Molokai
and that he had "an undeniable feeling that soon I shall join them." On
May 10, 1873, Father Damien traveled with Bishop Maigret and a shipload
of lepers to Molokai. After two days Damien was willing to devote the rest
of his life to the leper settlement.>>
Positions are for 12 GMT:
tr. Varuna = 12,57 Capricorn (precessed
tr. Chiron = 16,11 Aries
tr. Sun = 19,24 Taurus
Note that 2 days later, when he decides to stay at the island Molokai with the lepers, the transiting Sun/Nessus opposition is exact. Note also that Nessus is about to make opposition with itself and conjunction with Venus in 26 Scorpio. This happened in November that same year (1873), although Nessus got close (1 degree) to natal Venus before retrograding as early as March.
He died in Molokai April 15 1889. I will call the positions when he arrived for the first time at Molokai in 1873 "Second Birth":
Nessus at death = 20,19 Aquarius
this forms an exact square to the Sun/Pluto conjunction of his "2nd birth" (see above). There is also a Mercury/Neptune signature:
Sun at death = 25,29 Aries (at noon near
and a direct hit of Mars over Venus
Venus at "2nd birth" = 11,53 Taurus
So this date (10 May 1873) when he arrived at the island was one of the most important of his life. We can imagine what the condition of the lepers was when he got there:
<<Lepers were dropped off by boat on the far side of the Kalaupapa Peninsula in an area called Kalawao. Boats would sail to the reef, lepers were thrown overboard with a cage that had contained them on board the ship and a barrel with their box of possessions and food. The people on board waited because if any of the lepers tried to get back on board, the crew would shoot them.>> http://www.k12.hi.us/~tqjr/islands/molokai/father.html
The transcendental impact of the exact Sun/Pluto conjunction or Pluto incarnation of that day:
<<... at Molokai he was greeted by his new parishioners, who lined the beach in the last stages of disease and despair. He found only one hopeful sign among the squalor of his new surroundings--a rude wooden chapel, where his first act was to kneel in prayer. He spent that night in cleaning it, and was disturbed by the drunken laughter of the dissolute-- for it was a lawless community, by the cries of the dying, and by the howling of the wild dogs that devoured the dead.>> http://users.erols.com/saintpat/ss/0415.htm
According to the Britannica <<rumors before and after Damien's death accused him of immorality, but he was exonerated by an investigation held shortly after his death>>.
I also found a reference to Robert Louis Stevenson that I would like to explore:
<<Though he was often slandered during his lifetime, his holiness and dedication were quickly recognized after his death. (Robert Louis Stevenson wrote an impassioned defense of his character in 1905, which was used to support the canonization.) >> http://users.erols.com/saintpat/ss/0415.htm
Robert Louis Stevenso was born Nov. 13 1850 at 1:30 p.m. (from "Notable Nativities" #243). The positions are slightly corrected for precession from Father Damien's birth (0,09'):
Sun of R.L. Stevenson = 20,43 Scorpio
Mars R.L. Stevenson = 25,24 Scorpio
Keep in mind that the position of the Sun here (19,24 Taurus) is for noon GMT, while noon in Hawaii would be almost 12 hours later, making the conjunction more exact.
I believe that Father Damien's particular expression of "unconditional love and compassion" is directly related to his Venus/Nessus opposition. It is a good example of what I wrote among my Nessus keywords as "the delicacy and sensibility of the flower, the fragility of life, the strength that is found in weakness, terrible and beautiful in its fragility...", etc.
Nessus is the immense fragility and melancholy, the beauty, of the most simple things of life, once you have experienced to the fullest what it means not to have them.
Date: Fri, 01 Nov 2002 14:19:22 -0600
"I believe that Father Damien's particular expression of "unconditional love and compassion" is directly related to his Venus/Nessus opposition..."
There is a simple astrological confirmation of the above. Consider the following:
In December 1884, he noticed severe blisters on his feet, but there was no pain. He was diagnosed leprosy in 1885. Now please recall the approach I used in the case of Bulwer-Lytton and Zanoni with the progressed Sun and the Venus/Sun solar arc. As in that case, here the dates are approximate because I don't know his time of birth, but they are good plus or minus 6 months:
solar arc Venus conjunct natal
Sun = May 1885
The relationship of the Venus/Nessus opposition to father Damien's relationship with the lepers is evident here. At the time of his intimate spiritual consummation or encounter (Sun/Venus), the closest contact with his inner self and destiny (one of the meanings I give to the progressed or solar arc Sun/Venus conjunction), he became a leper himself, and this was his glory. Four years later, shortly before he died, he had written to his brother Pamphile:
<<"I am gently going to my grave. It is the will of God, and I thank Him very much for letting me die of the same disease and in the same way as my lepers. I am very satisfied and very happy.">>The progressed Sun/Venus conjunction is not something that happens and withers away. Sun/Venus in a person's life is a time of seeding, of fruition or of blossoming, depending on the age. The fruits --or the flower-- remains with us forever once it has been born, and becomes a reminder of what we can accomplish spiritually or in terms of intimate satisfaction. For Father Damien the flower was his leprosy, and the fruit was evident when other people came to help him, beginning with Joseph Dutton in 1886 and mother Marianne Cope and two of her sisters from the Order of Saint Francis in 1888, who were able to carry on his work.