"Good" and "Bad" Aspects
The letters here deal with some fundamental issues. The main question here is "Do impending astrological indications manifest in a negative or positive manner?" Of course we must consider the natal chart to see how many obstacles or opportunities the native will create. To me, philosophical and spiritual issues are raised as well, including the age-old debate about 'free will'.
Then there are those *other* influences to consider. For example, directed Ne activating natal Sun / Hades (or other such potentially difficult combination). Our advice may first be to "prepare for the worst", but what about: transit triggers, other natal midpoints near Su / Ha, eclipse points, progressions, 22.5 and 11.25 aspects, new moon and solar return charts, etc. ? A graphic ephemeris / annual diagram helps to synthesize things, especially since natal factors can be seen.
This is where the experience and knowledge of a highly skilled Hamburg
Schooler or Cosmobiologist comes to the forefront: being able to take many
factors into consideration and knowing the various weightings and probablilities.
Just how they interpret and communicate their findings will be highly influenced
by their own natal chart, the influences affecting *them*, and the
interaction between their chart and the native in question. There
is much to contemplate. Thanks to Fritz and Mary for
I completely agree that in a higher sense there are no good and bad aspects, as even the "bad" ones serve a higher purpose, making us tense enough to start moving, to teach us, pushing us to achieve, to mature, to punish us for past sins etc. Thus, Saturn as the grim taskmaster is of course a very necessary institution and "good" for us. One should therefore just talk about "pleasantly good" and "unpleasantly good" aspects, although some midpoints in Ebertin's KdG are clearly pointing to evil tendencies, and therefore should be defined as "bad".
May I give here an example, what I meant in my previous message: In the chart of a young man (TOB: 19 March 1977, 00:43 AM, EET -2:00 (no daylight saving), 29S36, 030E56) Mars is sesquisquare Pluto, which according to Ebertin's "Combinations of Stellar Influence = CSI)" can mean + (positive): "Ability to demonstrate extraordinary force and vigor, great self confidence, obsession to work without break, great ambition" OR - (negative): Attainment of one's objectives by means of ruthlessness to others, brutality, cruelty".
The midpoint tree associated with Mars = Pluto is = As/MC = Uranus/Neptune
= Moon/Saturn = Saturn/Neptune = Moon/Uranus.
With a different midpoint tree associated with Mars=Pluto, he would be likely to express the more positive characteristics described above. If Mars = Pluto is NOT associated with a midpoint tree, we could be easily at a loss to determine / predict where things are going. Ebertin writes "Hitherto, squares and oppositions have been termed as unfavorable and sextiles and trines favorable. However, experience has shown that such a usage is not always correct" (CSI, page 14).
In contrast to this, Michael Munkasey ("Midpoints-Unleashing the Power of the Planets", ACS Publ., see page 14) equates squares with the effects of Saturn (="unpleasantly good"), semi-square (and possibly also sesquisquare) with the effects of Mars, opposition with Moon (possibly both ways!?), although in his versions of significations of stellar combinations he lists again meanings under "Thesis" and "Antithesis", which goes back to Ebertin's principles of positivity and negativity of aspects between stellar pairs (Michael however includes also soft Aspects).
Many western astrologers, especially also those who are studying classical
astrology (e.g. William Lilly and others) go back to the old tenets (=
hard aspects negative, soft ones positive). Maybe, all parties are correct
and it is only a matter of probablity (= hard aspect mostly negative, but
sometimes positive), but these fundamental questions are important to study
further for the sake of correct interpretations and predictions.
I can only speak for myself; but you may consider that I practice both horary/event and cosmobiology -- quite an unusual mix. I was proficient in horary when I began a study of Cosmobiology, and truthfully never totally discarded houses or the other panoply of tranditional practice. That said:
I no longer consider the hard aspects bad and the soft good. Cosmobiology cured me of that. I do find that specific planets operate differently in hard or soft aspect; i.e. Neptune is much more dangerous in a trine than a square. There is indeed a difference and it relates to the planets involved.
Midpoint trees don't limit the expression to positive or negative. The person or event may exhibit all possible traits, or some at one time and some at another.
Even more than that: there is such a thing as "normal distribution". If you take any given planet in relationship to another, you will find that some positions are more common than others. Mars opposition Sun is a very rare bird. The prevalent relationship of Mars to Venus is conjunct. The least common relationship of either Mercury or Venus to the Sun is the conjunction (contrary to popular belief), while the most common is at extreme separation. Venus has anecdotal and traditional evidence suggesting a very different persona depending on its phase as morning (Lucifer) or evening (Hesperus) star.
Add to that degree area significance (some from fixed star lore) and a comprehensive medical schema developed by Elsbeth Ebertin that actually is used by both Uranians and Cosmos.
So. It isn't that simple. Would that it were. There
are demonstrable effects on electrical energy current when switches are
deployed a la hard or soft aspects. It works in nature, so it must
have a validity. It isn't a flaw in astrology that this effect isn't
totally understood or exploited yet; it is simply an observation on the
current state of the art -- which hopefully continues to advance, despite
those who languish for the days of "ancient wisdom". Knowledge has
progressed on other fronts over the millenium, we are "in process" of integrating
Fritz and Mary, writing about hard and soft aspects, mentioned a couple of things that crop up in my own chart. Fritz was discussing Mars = Pluto, and the ways that it can manifest "positively" or "negatively"; Mary said that Neptune is much more dangerous in a trine than in a square.
Actually, I don't think we can always be sure that one way of behaving is "positive" and another is "negative". I know that I personally have to watch out for being more judgemental than I have any right to be. I don't have the infinite resource and sagacity to fully understand exactly what's going on.
A good "negative" example is that as a teenager, aghast at how western capitalist so-called civilisation was going, feeling that it was essential to make a stand against it but not having come across any political or spiritual approach that didn't seem insanely flawed, for a few months I seriously considered a career as an agitator and anarchist of a highly disruptive sort. I started working out devilish long-term plans and strategies, and yes, they involved explosives. What I really wanted was a positive, sane, whole way of engaging with the issues but in the absence of that it seemed better to throw clogs into the works than to just meekly accept how things were, or seemed to be. I started by surreptitiously posting notices all around my school calling attention to the fact, as I saw it, that we were being more brainwashed and indoctrinated than educated, varying and replacing the notices as fast as the distraught headmaster tore them down. That was as far as it went; more constructive perspectives came along and I changed direction.
Is the destructive, or de-constructive potential of Mars-Pluto essentially "negative"? Isn't it simply inevitable sometimes?
One of the more easily palatable features of this Mars-Pluto-Ascendant-Mercury package is that it can yield surprising resources of energy and insight for research of one kind or another. Transiting Mars conjunct my Pluto a few days ago was a good example of how their combination can work for me; at 4 am I found myself still wide awake, excited, riding the energy, looking at a potentially promising avenue of investigation involving the 64th harmonic. (64 is a pretty good number for working with Mercury, whose "magic square" is an eight-by-eight, and 8 squared obviously suits Pluto, not to mention an 8th House Mars).
As for the danger of Neptune trines mentioned by Mary, I have a tight trine from Neptune to Mercury, potentially priceless in some ways but definitely very insidious in others. With no traditional planets in Earth, albeit Taurus Mc and Saturn acting as a very necessary anchor at the bottom of my chart, this Neptune trine makes it so, so seductively easy for me to drift off into unreality, fantasising about creative possibilities without nailing them down in the real world.
I expect we'd all agree that nothing indicated by the planets and their
aspects is intrinsically "good" or "bad" anymore than the passing of the
days is good or bad. It just IS. The real issue is what we
understand of it, and what on Earth we do with it.
Interestingly, today's Full moon (5-Oct-1998, 12Aries23) is on your (John's) natal Mars. T Mars (cnj. Node) is triggering the recent solar eclipse (22-Aug-1998, 28Leo48) that was conjunct your Ascendant and Pluto.
The Sabian symbol for the full moon's degree is (from Dane Ruhyar's "An astrological mandala"):
<<<ARIES 13 degrees: "AN UNEXPLOADED BOMB REVEALS AN UNSUCCESSFUL SOCIAL PROTEST"
KEYNOTE: An immature evaluation of the possibility of transforming suddenly the status quo.
The symbol pictures the result of a particular attempt to resolve a conflict between two concept-feelings of order. Resolution by violence fails because the ego-power at this stage of the process of individualization is far too strong. "The State" thwarts attmpts at popular revolution, because these are premature expressions of a consciousness which is not free, but can only react "wildly" to constraints and to a central ruling power. It is thus a symbol of immature refusal to conform, in the name of an overidealistic desire for harmony and peace.
This is the third stage of the third five-fold sequence. A negative attempt at reconciling the spiritual idea and the very earthy reality, denying the validity of the latter. It suggests ADOLECENCY FRUSTRATION.>>>
The opposite degree to that natal Mars (today's Sun) has the following sabian symbol:
Libra 13 degrees: "Children blowing soap bubbles."(Rudhyar) The cultural
fantasies through which young minds dream of perfect fulfillment.
Some associations: playfulness, taking delight in the passing moment, effervescent bubbling with energy, letting one's passing fancies go vs. popping other people's bubbles, crazy notions vs. extending one's influence. (this came from another mailing list)
You also mentioned, at the time you sent the post for the first time (4-Oct-1998, 2:59GMT) : >T Mercury was conjunct T Mars/Pluto, zero orb! T Mercury = 16Libra59
The sabian Symbol for that degree:
From Rudhyar's book:
Sorry this hasn't much to do with Uranian astrology, still, the correlation (and synchronicity) between the contents of the posting, today's full moon and the symbols is amazing, imho.
BTW, I have a natal trioctile (135deg) between Mars(9th) and Pluto(4th) with a 18' orb. The only thing I can relate to that aspect is my serving as the ultimate target for my parents' (especially my mother's) rage, aggression and brutality (with or without provocation), since my early childhood and for many years afterwards ("as part of my education"), being sort of a living "boxing bag". This is no big surprise, since my natal Mars is smack on my mother's Desc, and tightly opposite her Pluto and square her Uranus.
Last year, when the solar eclipse on (1-Sept-1997, 9Virgo34) that took place 4 minutes from my natal Pluto, was ASPECTED by an inconjunct (150) from a transit Mars&Pallas conjunction (both gods of war), my mother suddenly appeared in my house with some weird demands. This visit brought up some painful memories with a sudden new understanding of the nature of our relationship (a sort of great revelation of something I wasn't aware of before) and raised a fiery quarrel, at the end of which I opened the door for her and asked her never to show her face at my home again.
On the 90 dial, my Mars/Pluto midpoint is on my Jupiter and East Point
(58' orb). It also shares the same axis with the following midpoints (30'
orb): MA/PL = MC/ME("one's own individual outlook")
As I write this, there's a tight ME/AP conjunction at my natal Pluto's antiscia, T Pluto is conj. my natal Mars' antiscia, there's a tight T Mars/Node conjunction right on my natal Uranus (exactly square my Asc), The New Moon is about to take place right on my natal Juno, exactly opp my Cupido. T Hades is rising.
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