As I mentioned in my previous post, the A-H1N1 Swine Flu pandemic has been the source of intense scrutiny and commentary for the past five months. I decided to compare the charts of the last major pandemic, The Spanish Flu of 1918, to see if there were any similar astrological configurations that might reveal if this one will be as severe.
When I first compared the charts of the onset of the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic (3/3/1918, Fort Riley KS) with that of the 2009 Swine Flu Pandemic (March 28, 2009, Mexico City), I started by looking at the positions of Rahu and Ketu as they are traditionally the prime indicator of epidemics. I had to include the outer planets in this exploration to make the most basic connections.
In the 1918, Ketu was placed in Gemini, which rules the lungs, within 5 degrees of Pluto, the Western astrological archetype for death and mass disease. In 2009 Rahu was transiting the sign of Capricorn with a debilitated Jupiter, ruler of the lymphatic and circulatory systems. Other than Pluto being in the opposite sign of the previous pandemic, I must admit, I was kind of disappointment that there weren't bigger indicators of mass disease and global death in the 1918 chart, or connections to the 2009 chart that might indicate a similar pattern.
That was until I looked more closely at the 2009 chart that featured a debilitated Mercury with a retrograding Venus in Pisces, also debilitated. Suddenly it became clear. Both outbreaks began while Venus was retrograde in the Morningstar position.
The planet Venus has been referred to as the Morningstar or Evenstar for thousands of years. Because it is closer to the sun than the earth is, it can never appear very far from the sun in the sky. In other words, when the sun sets in the evening it might be in the west, near the sun as an evening star; or it could be in the morning sky before sunrise, again, near the sun. A Venus cycle describes her retrograde patterns that bring the planet into what's called combustion with the Sun. During this time Venus disappears from view on the earth for approximately 40 days. Many ancient skywatching cultures interpreted its disappearance as a shamanic journey to the underworld.
The 1918 outbreak officially began the day after she went stationary direct, ie as she re-emerged from the journey to the underworld. The 2009 outbreak officially started in March, but made headlines as President Obama was in Mexico during the height of the scare, the day before Venus went stationary direct. The similarity is intriguing.
In Vedic astrology Venus is considered a benefic and represents artistic talents, the quality of the body and material life, wealth, the opposite sex, pleasure and reproduction, feminine qualities and music and dance. So how could this sweet influence be a harbinger of illness?
In Hindu mythology Venus is called Shukra, the son of the great seer Bhrigu who was an astrologer that taught Venus all of the spiritual sciences and scriptures. According to Vedic tradition Venus is the preceptor, or teacher, of the asuras, demons or lost souls. The word asura is derived from the root Asu, meaning 'to breath' or 'to be'. According to the Bhagavad Gita (16.6), all beings in the Universe partake either of the divine qualities (Daivi Sampad = suras) or the demonic qualities (Asuri Sampad = asuras).
Hindu mythology is filled with stories of how the Suras and the Asuras were engaged in a grand battle of light vs dark, like the clash of the giant Titans and lesser gods. Asuras are often described as snakes, like the north node Rahu who was separated from his body Ketu by Vishnu.
It is the same archetype that is found in early Christian legends concerning the battle fought in Heaven between the spirits of Light and the spirits of Darkness. According to Rudolph Steiner, the Asuras were retarded Beings of the Hierarchy of the Archai. They are Beings who instead of furthering man's progress to independence, lure him into gross egoism.
But what if the Asuras refer not only to snakes and unself-conscious demons, but to unconscious cells or lifeforms, like a virus. A virus infects a host cell much like a demon possesses a host body. The word stems from the Latin virus referring to poison and other noxious substances, the nectar of the asuras.
Coincidentally I had been researching Venus cycles in relation to the Mayan calendar when I look more closely at the eight year cycle associated with her dancing orbit and retrograde patterns as viewed from the Earth. Venus appears to circle the earth in the shape of a star or pentagram.
Over 8 years Venus dances around the sun making 5 retrogrades. She begins her retrograde motion as the evening star, eventually disappearing behind the sun in a shamanic journey that tranforms her into to the morning star. This phenomenon was observed by ancient sky-watchers and mystics, and became the basis of many myths involving death and resurrection. Christians, Mayans, and Hindus all describe the return of the morning star as symbolic of the return of their teachers.
Greek astrologers called the morning phase of Venus Lucifer (the light bearer) and the evening phase Hesperus (setting in the West).
The Babylonians called Venus the double-phased Ishtar -- the morning star of war and the evening star of love. According to mythological lore, as the evening star of love, Ishtar travels down to the underworld to bring back her lover Tammuz. After a terrifying ordeal, she is returned to the land of the living because the other gods cannot abide even their utopian existence without a goddess of love. Ishtar returns to reign as the Queen of Heaven, though without her lover, Tammuz.
The Sumerian goddess Inanna, is an even earlier Venus archetype. Inanna had to journey to the underworld where she was trapped and rendered naked and defenseless. Only by her cunning and strength does she gain release. Sumerian priests composed hymns in honor of the planet which they venerated as Inanna: To her who appears in the sky, to her who appears in the sky, I want to address my greeting, to the hierodule who appears in the sky, I want to address my greeting, to the great queen of heaven, Inanna, I want to address my greeting, to her who fills the sky with her pure blaze, to the luminous one, to Inanna, as bright as the sun, to the great queen of heaven.
They also described her frightening power: To provoke shivers of fright, panic, trembling, and terror before the halo of your fearsome splendor, that is your nature, oh Inanna.
The Mesoamericans linked the morning phase of Venus with Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent, believing that this was a time when leaders are struck down and natural disasters occur.
Venus as disaster-bringer was chronicled by Bernardino de Sahagun, a Franciscan friar:
And when it [Venus] newly emerged, much fear came over them; all were frightened. Everywhere the outlets and opening of [houses] were closed up. It was said that perchance the [light] might bring a cause of sickness, something evil when it came to emerge.
Some researchers suggest that Venus' association with dire portents and tales of apocalyptic disaster was due to an ancient astronomical event in which the planet Venus actually caused a cataclysm that was imprinted on the memory of ancient man. In her book The Many Faces of Venus The Planet Venus in Ancient Myth and Religion, Ev Cochrane writes that she believes that there is evidence that Venus only recently moved on a much different orbit, cavorting with Mars and raining fire from heaven. She asks as profound question. Is it is possible that modern astronomers, in neglecting the ancient folklore surrounding the respective planets, have overlooked a vital clue to the recent history of the solar system?
Venus will remain the morningstar until January 13, 2010 when she becomes combust with the sun and transforms into the evening star, goddess of love. Perhaps in this position, she will at last return to her pleasurable pursuits and inspire more joy and happiness -- the ultimate viral protection -- in the hearts of men.