Date: Fri, 01 Nov 2002 11:03:54 -0600
Subject: [Centaurs] Father Damien
"Every Century
somewhere on Earth.
a few people embody the highest ideals of Humankind....
unconditional love and compassion.
on Molokai...
in the 1800's...
that person was Father Damien."

Saint or not (he was declared venerable in 1977 and beatified by the Pope in 1995), I was curious about how these qualities appear astrologically in his natal and death configurations.

<<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 for treatment.>>

He was born Joseph de Veuster in Tremeloo, Belgium, on January 3, 1840. I use 12h GMT as reference:

       Venus = 26,19 Scorpio
       Nessus = 26,01 Taurus

       Mercury = 19,50 Sagittarius
       TL66 = 18,52 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 0,28')
       natal Sun = 12,16 Capricorn

       tr. Chiron = 16,11 Aries
       natal Pluto = 16,55 Aries

       tr. Sun = 19,24 Taurus
       tr. Pluto = 19,49 Taurus
       tr. Nessus = 22,13 Scorpio

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 Molokai)
      Neptune at "2nd birth" = 26,27 Aries
      Mercury at "2nd birth" = 23,57 Aries
      midpoint Mercury/Neptune = 25,12 Aries

and a direct hit of Mars over Venus

      Venus at "2nd birth" = 11,53 Taurus
      Mars at death = 12,16 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.>>

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.>>

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.) >>

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
       Sun Damien's "2nd birth"= 19,24 Taurus
       Pluto "2nd birth" = 19,49 Taurus
       Nessus "2nd birth" = 22,13 Scorpio

       Mars R.L. Stevenson = 25,24 Scorpio
       Venus Father Damien = 26,19 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
Subject: [Centaurs] Father Damien, 2

"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
       converse pr. Sun conjunct natal Venus = May 1885
       solar arc Nessus opposition Sun = September 1885
       converse pr. Sun opposition natal Nessus = August 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.



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