Epoch Eclipse Now

© July 1999, Emmett Chapman

Past Epochs

The cross was a powerful symbol from the very start of Christianity some 2000 years ago. In astrology a cross is never benign, but considering the Piscean/Jovian symbolism of the Christian cross, and the Virgin symbol of feminine divinity resonating from Virgo at the bottom of this axis, we have experienced as benign a cross as possible.

The four mutable signs with their divided symbolism can best accommodate and tolerate the cross, including Gemini and Sagittarius at the shorter horizontal arms of the cross. With Pisces at the head of the cross (as with the stellium "Star" of Bethlehem in Pisces at midheaven), the mutable cross is of the mind, inward and philosophical in nature, not at all like the powerful fixed cross now assembling itself above us (a second cross with a total solar eclipse at its head for "every eye to see").

The sign of Pisces has been the source of religious and cultural symbolism for the past two millenniums of Christian influence in Western civilization. The precession of zodiacal signs at the equinoxes is the largest cycle known in astrology, 25,800 years, and is the only cycle that moves backwards through the signs. The world is now on the cusp of Aquarius, a fixed sign, fixed air, what can it be? The man symbol is carrying something in a vessel, but Aquarius is not a water sign. What then is "fixed air", and what do those parallel "waves" symbolize for this puzzling sign?

The precession of the equinoxes is caused by a gradual change in the direction of the earth's axis, a shift of 30 degrees, or a full sign of the zodiac, approximately every 2150 years. The three wise astrologers plotted coordinates which no doubt placed the closest conjunction of all three known outer planets (those outside of earth's orbit) at the midheaven. They no doubt knew that such a stellium of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn in the sign of Pisces would symbolically usher in the Piscean age and they came to Bethlehem to give recognition to whoever would be born at the moment the "star" of tightest conjunction was directly overhead.

Religious symbols of that time were quickly reformulated from individualistic Arien to collective Piscean values. The Arien dispensation of law and the ritual of lamb sacrifice was replaced with Piscean grace, the ritual of baptism and an incredibly new kind of sacrifice. In transition, some older symbols remained but were transformed in meaning. The shepherd, the flock of sheep and the Lamb of God of the New Testament were derived from Arien symbols of the previous age, the spirit of which had already shifted to Piscean collective values. (The fisherman and a school of fish would have conveyed the new metaphor much better, I would contend, and the lamb had become a human Lamb.)

Astrology has been an abundant source of religious symbols, beliefs and rituals going back at least 6000 years in the recorded history of Western civilization. Before the age of Aries there were the Taurean symbols, the Golden Calf, the sacred cow, and the slaying of the bull by the God Mithras around 2000 BC. as the spring equinox was moving out of the constellation of Taurus and into Aries.

Dual Rulerships

Dual Rulerships The ancient astrologers knew Pisces to be the female sign of Jupiter's rulership. I must explain at this point that the multi-layered geometry of ancient astrology is a beautiful thing! Not only do you have the twelve signs arranged in patterns of four threes (the elements), three fours (the qualities) and two sixes (the gender), but there is a superimposed linear pattern of planetary rulerships, a male and female sign for each planet.

If you consider Sun and Moon to be the male and female counterparts of one entity, respectively ruling Leo and Cancer at the center of a spectrum, you'll find the male and female rulerships of Mercury on either side (Gemini and Virgo), the male and female rulerships of Venus on either side of those of Mercury (Libra and Taurus), and so on with all the planets as they are actually positioned in orbital distance from the Sun, each ruling a masculine and feminine sign, out to Capricorn and Aquarius at the far ends, which were regarded by ancient astrologers as being under the rulership of Saturn, the outermost planet at the time.

Bring the ends of the spectrum together and you have the "wheel" of a standard chart with Saturn's pair of signs opposing Sun and Moon signs. Also, Venus' and Mars' signs oppose each other, as do Jupiter's and Mercury's signs. If you draw a straight line connecting the signs Cancer and Leo (as you would draw a line for a semi-sextile aspect), and then draw parallel lines connecting the pairs of signs ruled by each successive planet, out to Saturn connecting Capricorn and Aquarius, you'll have something resembling uniform "latitude lines" across the circular chart. The beauty of this ancient system is that any sign can be quite completely described by the symbolism of its geometry, that is, by its combined membership in a triplicity, a quadruplicity, a gender group, its numbered position in the cycle of twelve signs, and in the above described spectrum of alternating male/female, female/male pairs of planetary rulerships.

All of the main Christian religions have reflected the feminine side of Jupiter throughout the age of Pisces, focusing on the central themes of piety, grace regardless of merit, faith regardless of knowledge, acceptance of heavenly (and earthly) rewards, forgiveness, modesty, and a passive, quiet, inner attitude of prayer. Purity and innocence too, are Piscean attributes, though resonating strongly with Virgo (sign of the purists) at the other end of the axis. We're so used to these Christian virtues that most of us no longer recognize how extremely Piscean they are.

This is all about to change, or rather to explode, as the fixed grand cross of August 11th, 1999, accompanied by a sharp fixed T-square and the total eclipse of the Sun seen over Europe, the Middle East and India in its own sign Leo, heralds the cusp period of the new age of Aquarius (a fixed sign and masculine expression of Saturn) with its radically new symbology to guide collective "intelligence" to the next level in the precessed cycle.


A stellium, though spectacular in the sky as was the Star of Bethlehem, is like a new moon or any other conjunction, in that it signifies a "seed" time, an inner awareness of a new cycle, and a resolve. A grand cross, by contrast, is a powerhouse, and Nostradamus gave this one of summer 1999 top billing. Still, he saw it only as a very powerful and focused T-square with the obscured Sun centered at the "trigger" position, sharply squaring both "malefics", Mars and Saturn. Living in the mid 1500s, he couldn't have charted the movements of Uranus or Neptune, as they had not yet been discovered.

What he didn't know was that these outer pair of "transcendent" planets would now be intimately involved at the fourth leg of the fixed cross in the remaining fixed sign Aquarius, thereby transforming this great astrological pattern beyond anything he could have envisioned, though I'm sure he would have loved these slow moving planets.

Nostradamus was a medical astrologer who later encrypted his texts to escape Church scrutiny. He was mainly an astronomer, however, who made himself a "time machine" to extrapolate the planetary motions far into the future in search of major recurrent patterns. Saturn as the slowest orbiting body was his index for sorting out less significant events (without Saturn the configuration wouldn't be as comprehensive). My feeling is, if he had gotten just a couple of "snapshots" of Uranus' or Neptune's movements, he might well have upgraded his time machine for yet more distant travel, concentrating on larger prophesies over wider intervals of time.

A Personal Note

Emmett ChapmanAmid the daily absorption with paperwork, occupational deadlines and administration of life's tedium, let's take a moment to be aware of the largest natural clock and calendar we have around us, the solar system. Let's not be distracted by all the media attention paid to Y2K and other man made clocks. There's a larger computer clock setting the script of symbolic cues for collective man, and it measures time and history with nine hands on a face with twelve divisions.

I for one have got an extremely busy, non-stop daily schedule as a musical instrument manufacturer, designer, teacher and concert performer, all centered around a ten stringed, two-handed tapping, bodiless, electric stringed instrument that I created 25 years ago. By now I've built over 5000 of these in various models and tunings, and am known in musical circles around the world for the instrument I build and for the novel playing method I created for it, now widely used by many excellent performing and recording artists.

With the able research and assistance of my daughter Diana, who has long experience as a professional Yoga instructor and as an amateur astrologer, I've taken on this project as my first written astrological work. I feel the pressure and the obligation to cut through to the most gripping world theme as I see it, and not to skirt around the peripheries of "the main event" as esoteric authors often do. Though never a professional astrologer, I have been analyzing birth charts of friends and family (as gently as possible) for over 40 years as an occasional but enduring hobby. I've maintained a painful agnosticism on the subject, as I have in my religious views, but am nonetheless fascinated with both subjects. To hear me talk, you might think I was a believer, but in truth, I don't know myself how much I believe or disbelieve. I do know that I love closed geometric systems fraught with symbolism, as with music theory and astrology (which share many graphic correspondences, by the way).

The New Epoch

Solar Eclipse

Let's now get ourselves settled and take a good long look at the current astrological event of greatest proportions, a second cross, this time a fixed cross - cross fixed, crucifix! It's not a tangible and material cross as used in the crucifixion of the ultimate sacrificial Lamb (dramatically portraying the end of the Arien Epoch in much the same fashion as Mithras' slaying of the bull some 2000 years earlier). It is rather a symbolic cross of huge planetary proportions to transform collective consciousness once again to the next level in the precessed astrological cycle. (Remember, Aquarius was regarded as the potent male expression of Saturn, the stern judge and scientific realist, a harshly different image than the feminine expression of Jupiter.)

As in Biblical prophesy of the Second Coming, every eye shall look to the sky and see this symbol of the second cross, or at least many eyes shall see it, that is, those eyes from the southwest coast of England through southeastern Europe and all the way to India's east coast, witnessing the total eclipse of the Sun along its umbral path during "daylight" hours on August 11th. What they will not see, but may somehow be aware of, is how this exact Sun/Moon mid Leo conjunction is powered by a grand cross in the middle degrees of the other fixed signs, and is reinforced by a T-square in the early degrees of fixed signs. The bull, lion, eagle and man symbols are known by astrologers to represent the four fixed signs, and are cited as the "beasts" in the fourth Book of Revelation, seventh verse. (I was raised with this beastly symbol of the apocalypse in a small San Fernando Valley Pentecostal "Four Square" church in the late '40s, where every Bible displayed the square logo with the heads of these four creatures protruding from each side of the square.)

Now the Epoch Eclipse is in self-assembly, the slowest planets moving into place first. A slow and newly direct Mars in Scorpio opposes Jupiter in Taurus from July 5th forward, with Neptune squaring from Aquarius. Saturn in Taurus squares Uranus in Aquarius from July 8th forward. Sun enters its Leo rulership on July 23rd, and is opposed by an eclipsed Moon in Aquarius on July 28th, the day of the first powerful "take" on the fixed cross as it jells toward final form. Significantly, Venus goes retrograde in Virgo on July 30th and is thereby the only planet to be sidetracked from any further involvement in the fixed signs and the grand cross. (I don't consider Pluto/Charon to play a part here, or even to be a member of the Sun's planetary system for that matter, certainly not a super Mars, as I feel that it more properly belongs to the huge Kuiper belt of icy proto-comets and asteroids recently discovered beyond Neptune.) All else, however, is integrated on the cross as the so-called malefics Mars and Saturn lock into sharp opposition on August 9th, two days before the "Eclipse of the New Epoch".

The Polarities

What is interesting is how the "polarities" of successive pairs of planets (successive in orbital distance from the Sun) are arranged on this August 11th chart. As I see it, these planetary polarities express themselves as male and female, but less so as you move away from the Sun. Thus you have the primary polarity, Sun and Moon, in exact conjunction and parallel (the eclipse itself) on the grand cross. Then you have Mars and Venus, also highly polarized by gender, but with only a Scorpio Mars on the cross, Venus being separated by the sign of its "fall", Virgo, and also retrograde in motion. Then you have Saturn and Jupiter together by sign in Taurus, with Saturn as part of the fixed cross and Jupiter as part of the accompanying fixed T-square. Finally, you have Neptune and Uranus together by sign in the remaining fixed sign of Aquarius, with Uranus as part of the cross and Neptune as part of the T-square.

The gender characteristics of these polarities seem to grow less pronounced with distance from the Sun, the Sun/Moon polarity itself possessing the greatest sexual contrast, followed by Venus/Mars, of course. (Mercury is suitably left out of this scheme, having no gender and thus no polar opposite in is shuttle operation around the Sun.) I like to think of Jupiter as the somewhat more female counterpart of a more masculinized Saturn in this ancient system of balanced opposites, and of Neptune as subtly more female in influence than its vaguely male counterpart Uranus.

Sexual or not, these pairs can nevertheless be considered as polarities, that is, similar opposites, and each polarized pair happens to be joined together by sign on this summer's grand cross, each partner in each pair strengthening and tempering its opposite gender, all except for Mars which stands alone in its sign of rulership.

Such an unrestrained Mars occupying a lone position on the cross, with polarized planetary pairs at all other legs of the cross, must have been on Nostradamus' mind when he said about this astrological event (which he placed "in the year 1999 in the seventh month") that "Mars shall reign supreme", that "Mars rules triumphantly", and, "From the sky there comes a great king of terror." A severely weakened Venus is separated from this fixed grand cross/T-square configuration, and is therefore not available as a balance to Mars.

A grand cross is regarded by astrologers as allowing no way out, and therefore remaining strangely stable under stress, that is, until it acts explosively. Mars in its Scorpio rulership, minus its feminine counterpart Venus, could be the imperfection in the "crystalline" structure, the crack in the squared framework, that sets it off. A T-square, on the other hand, acts always to provide a particular goal, and like a bow and arrow it aims its driving discord at the missing sign, which again is Scorpio as seen from the T-square portion of the crossed chart. This must be why Nostradamus predicted events of this summer in such martial terms.

The Method

DianaMy daughter Diana and I, trying to be wise astrologers, started looking for coordinates to find where this world event would have a focus of expression. Should we cast a solar chart with the eclipse at the degree of the ascendant? No, a total eclipse is a highly visible and dramatic event, especially at midday. Should we cast many charts for the moment of exact eclipse as seen from major cities around the world? No, all houses, cusps and angles would end up in the aggregate as being equally important. We figured that in order to gain any additional information about an astrological event that is supposed to affect the world, we must have a single horoscope of an actual location, with a definite placement of the fixed cross on the standard matrix of houses, cusps and angles.

We decided to observe the ancient method of "the three wise men" and make a midheaven chart for the most exact moment of the solar eclipse, wherever in the world it would be seen directly overhead. We found that the eclipse would exactly conjunct the midheaven at 13 East 49 degrees of longitude, somewhere in middle Europe. We looked up and down that longitude and found Rome (12 East 29) to be the major city closest to the line. A horoscope for Rome puts the midheaven at 17 Leo 0', within one and a third degrees of the solar eclipse at 18 Leo 21'. (The most exact midheaven point for the eclipse at Rome's latitude falls some 60 miles east of Rome in the central mountainous spine of Italy at 13 East 50.)

We knew that the eclipsed Sun's shadow path would sweep east-southeastward across middle and southern Europe, crossing the line of Rome's longitude with the umbral center some six degrees north of Rome in latitude, close enough for those in Rome (and in the Vatican City just two miles west of Rome city center) to see over 80% of the Sun eclipsed at the midheaven.

We first engaged in what I would like to call "honest discovery", casting midheaven charts for "significant" cities, moving eastward from Belgrade to Leningrad, Jerusalem, Baghdad and Tehran. We actually missed Rome, and when nothing meshed at midheaven and angles for these other cities we finally found the perfect correspondences at Rome.

On August 11th, 1:10 PM CED, the exact solar eclipse is one degree from the midheaven at Rome and in the 10th house at 18 Leo 21'. Mars is angular and conjunct the ascendant at 16 Scorpio 51'. Saturn is angular and conjunct the descendant at 16 Taurus 52'. And Uranus is angular, retrograde, and conjunct the nadir at 14 Aquarius 39'. This is a sharp grand cross, very close by degree, angular in position, and occupying middle degrees of the fixed signs. And it's reinforced by the T-square of Mercury at 0 Leo 9', Jupiter at 4 Taurus 40', and Neptune retrograde at 2 Aquarius 33'. If you give a wide orb to the ascendant at 8 Scorpio 33', you have another grand cross out of this T-square, again angular by sign. In fact, the entire chart for Rome is angular by sign, except for Venus (and not including Pluto).

"Why Rome?", we asked each other. We're not Catholics. And I left all those Four Square evangelists' prophesies behind me long ago as I moved on into rational adulthood, or so I thought. Rome? The Vatican? I felt disappointment that the Age of Pisces would have such a "boilerplate" ending (reminiscent of fundamentalist prophesies I'd heard since childhood). Nevertheless, Rome is the place where the Sun will be eclipsed at solar noon in its own sign, and where the crosses of this magnificent planetary configuration and of the cardinal points engage each other, greatly amplifying the fixed quality of this chart.


Ordinarily, astrologers give a solar eclipse a year to play out in world affairs. Given the horoscope of this eclipse, however, I'd say it's going to get off to a quick start, as well as having a lasting effect well into the new age. I'd like to offer the broadest, most generalized predictions.

I see the four fixed signs as exerting their influence primarily upon man made institutions, and not so much upon affairs of the mind as in the case of the four mutable signs, or upon earth's cataclysms as in the case of the four cardinal signs. Thus, Taurus governs the economy, Leo the political structure, Scorpio the military, and Aquarius the church and religious orders.

Further, I see the Sun/Moon polarity in Leo at the midheaven as signifying a living ruler who is thought to be capable of saving the world from institutional disruption. Opposing this is the Uranus/Neptune polarity in Aquarius at the nadir, which I see as the sponsorship of this ruler by a church or religious order, the nadir signifying the underpinnings, the spiritual fountain of strength arising from this transcendent planetary pair in a transcendent sign. Squaring all of the above is the Saturn/Jupiter polarity in Taurus at the descendant, signifying world wide economic disruption, as these planets are associated with fortune or lack of it, and occupy the sign of worldly goods. And squaring from the other side at the ascendant to form the complete grand cross is Mars (a singularity here) in Scorpio, signifying war.

This "Four Square" dilemma is completely man made, as I see it, a fourfold crisis of man's institutions world wide. It reveals our human inadequacies as we struggle to find some kind of intelligent control over our own collective behavior. Since history has shown that the enlightened self-interest of each individual (the rational mind) doesn't necessarily benefit society, and since we lack the clear-cut instinctual advantages of your average ant or bee, we must therefore discover or invent some other non rational means of forming a community and serving each other. It has always been the complex geometry of the solar system that has fed us our symbols and directives, religious in tone, replacing animal instinct.

A Lunar Eclipse

Lunar Eclipse

There is yet another power amplifier at work in this summer's developing grand cross, and that is the relatively slow movement of all planets involved. The four slower moving planets are all prominent members in the pattern, and the faster planets, Mercury, Venus and Mars, have all been slowed down by way of recent stationary and retrograde motion. The net effect is that the grand cross stays around longer, restructuring itself in various "takes". It is thus already well formed and sharply aspected two weeks earlier during the lunar eclipse of July 28th, with Sun in 4 Leo 57', two degrees from the midheaven of 7 Leo 01' (again at Rome, of all places). Of course the eclipsed Moon is in the same degree of Aquarius, conjunct the nadir. Mars at 9 Scorpio 37' is squaring this Sun/Moon opposition from the 1st house, as does the ascendant at 0 Scorpio 47'.

The charts for both the solar and lunar eclipses are strikingly similar because of the slow-motion quality of all planetary movement during this entire period. The main difference is that the smaller T-square of the solar eclipse (Jupiter squaring an opposed Mercury and Neptune) is part of the grand cross of the earlier lunar eclipse. Thus in the lunar eclipse, it is Jupiter in 3 Taurus 45' (instead of Saturn) that squares Sun, Moon and Mars (perhaps presenting an overly optimistic picture of things to come). Also, the eclipsed Moon is conjunct Neptune at the nadir, and the midheaven Sun is conjunct Mercury. Again, all bodies are angular by sign and in fixed signs, except again for stationary Venus in Virgo.

During the later solar eclipse the cross becomes more intense by locking in on the very slow and powerful Saturn/Uranus fixed square, Saturn replacing Jupiter on the cross, and Uranus replacing Neptune. The replaced planets remain on the adjoining T-square with Mercury, recalling their earlier prominence in the lunar eclipse's grand cross.

Horses and Riders

"Apocalypse" is the Greek word for "revelation" and has been passed down through sacred Latin and old French into present day English. "The Apocalypse" is also another name for the Book of Revelation by Saint John, the last book in the New Testament. In the sixth chapter of Revelations the four "beasts" announce four horsemen. My interpretation is, the beasts are the horses, but with heads symbolizing the fixed signs. The fixed signs are the powerhouse, the driving engine of astrology. The engines of those times were horses - horsepower! The four beasts with heads of the fixed signs were collectively represented as horses, the symbol of power.

Since they were not really horses, but rather "beasts" with individual heads of a bull, lion, eagle and a man, they had voices with which to announce their respective riders. The riders themselves are the planetary Gods which occupy each of the fixed signs in the grand cross this August 11th. The beasts reveal the riders by their planetary colors and by their proclivities. Thus, the first horseman of the apocalypse rides a white horse (white light is composed of the entire combined spectrum of colors visible to the eye, from magenta to indigo, and signifies the Sun). He wears a "crown" and holds a weapon of some kind ("a bow"), and goes forth conquering (this must be the Sun in regal Leo, and at the midheaven point of public authority in the horoscope for Rome).

The second horseman rides a red horse (Mars) and has a "great sword". He is described as having the power to create war (Mars in its Scorpio rulership, and at the ascendant for Rome). The third horseman rides a black horse (the absence of all light in the color spectrum, signifying Saturn, the Sun's Nemesis), and holds a scale with which he measures basic foodstuffs, bread, flour and barley, and warns of scarce supplies of the luxuries, olive oil and wine (Saturn in Taurus on the cross, indicating a "belt tightening" period of restricted world trade).

The fourth horseman rides a pale horse (there are no colors for the Gods Uranus and Neptune, who had not yet been embodied in planetary form, Saturn being the outermost planet known at that time). Some astrologers have assigned these two outer planets some very strange "colors", translucent, pearlescent, refractive, hinting perhaps at some form of shifting harmonics in the visible range that are generated by frequencies vibrating well outside of the light band of the electromagnetic spectrum.

This fourth member of the Apocalypse is actually described as two horsemen, one named "Death" followed by another named "Hell". Such frightening designations might well be used to characterize unknown planets with unknown colors, not clearly seen in Saint John's revelation (and not seen at all in Nostradamus' predictions). Neptune and Uranus are together in Aquarius as the two "horsemen" occupying this fourth leg of the cross, and in our chart cast for the solar eclipse at Rome they are at the nadir, which I interpret as the ecclesiastical "seat of power".

What to make of this mysterious pair of horsemen under the fourth seal, who are supposed to control one fourth of the earth? (Uranus and Neptune control one fourth of the grand cross in this summer's configuration.) The first three horsemen have obvious connotations, a ruler, a world depression and a war. These are familiar albeit discomforting concepts, but what does the drastic fourth symbol have to offer? I would have to say, it represents the unknown, the unfathomable, the new epoch of Aquarian "religious" symbolism to be delivered to the world by way of the fixed cross - not a very pleasant birth, but the baby is strong.

A King

King.gif - 55 K

And finally we come to a living man (Sun conjunct Moon in Leo at the head of the fixed cross). A ruler? A savior? Maybe not a king, but treated like one (Leo). There is someone out there who fits the profile - a solar eclipse inside of a fixed stellium, opposed to a fixed Uranus at the vertical angles, and squaring a powerful planet on a Scorpio ascendant. Does any of this sound familiar?

In Europe this person would have been born February 5th, 1962, and would now be 37. In Rome the time of his birth would have been 1:00 AM CET, the moment of that eclipse. The angles were occupied by the middle degrees of the same fixed signs in the same positions as on this year's cross of 1999. All bodies (including Venus but not considering Pluto) occupied fixed signs. The Sun and Moon were conjunct in 15 Aquarius at Rome's nadir, one degree away from Uranus' position on this year's cross. Uranus, on the other hand, was in Leo conjunct Rome's midheaven, a position the eclipsed Sun will hold on this year's cross. In other words, Uranus and the eclipsed Sun have traded places, both by sign and by angular position.

Furthermore, both the 1962 and 1999 charts maintain the square from Scorpio. In 1962 the square was from Neptune and the ascendant in 13 and 14 Scorpio respectively (as opposed to this year's Mars and ascendant squaring the grand cross). On both charts, Scorpio exerts a dynamically discordant influence on the Leo/Aquarius opposition of Uranus and eclipsed Sun.

The stellium of 1962 is intriguing in that every planet from Mercury out to Saturn was in Aquarius, including Sun and Moon in their solar eclipse. Only the outer pair, Uranus and Neptune, were in other signs, respectively opposing and squaring this stellar grouping from fixed signs. Moreover, this stellium was stitched together very tightly by what I'd like to call "singular pairs" (as opposed to "the polarities" described earlier). Thus, the "malefics" Mars and Saturn were respectively at 2 and 3 degrees of Aquarius, the "benefics" Venus and Jupiter were respectively at 17 and 18 degrees of Aquarius, and of course the "luminaries" Sun and Moon were exactly at 15 Aquarius 42'. Only Mercury in this scheme of things doesn't pair up, neither with like kind nor with opposite kind, but at 17 Aquarius it does closely conjunct four other bodies!


Triple Eclipse

When you superimpose the above three charts for Rome, simultaneously viewing the horoscopes of the lunar eclipse, the solar eclipse, and some sort of a ruler born in 1962, the picture jells - an overwhelming confluence of highly focused energy in the fixed signs at the angles, each chart having a "command presence", a head, an "eye contact" with the world through the Leo/Aquarius eclipses.

Of course, these three highly integrated planetary configurations need not be exclusively cast for Rome, as they also stand alone, independent of any location on the globe, to usher in the new epoch of Aquarius.

Public fantasies about the "end of the world" abound on film and TV, in churches and on the Internet. If Y2K doesn't get you, Armageddon will, or maybe it will be planet Earth itself having had enough of us all. I'd rather deal symbolically with the subject (as you might have guessed by now), as symbols give rise to ideas, giving rise to words, which affect human deeds world wide, transforming world culture. Symbolism is in fact the main form of group thought, of collective intelligence, and symbolic rituals are the group directives, putting muscle to the mind. This is why religions have always been around.

The frustrating paradox is this. Our individual brains are very smart, eminently rational, and we carry a good part of the universe around with us (in our heads). At the same time, our communities and societies are mute and incapable of rational thought. And here's the rub, man is an intensely cultural animal (as acknowledged in the legend of Tarzan). Therefore, we are inextricably bound to our collective groupings, and I would say that (at least) half of our instincts and emotions have evolved for the group, not for ourselves. I'd also contend that the concept of private property should begin just beyond the boundaries of ones own skin (ownership starting from your wardrobe outward). My feeling is, we don't really "own" ourselves in the capitalistic sense, and no person should ever be for "sale" in any sense of the word. We are for others. Collective human culture is a life form in itself, though presently stunted in instinctual development.

There I've said it (obligatory message content). If there's to be any "end of the world" before we move on to some new territory, I hope it will merely be an end of world history, that is, mainstream history as we know it. That might be a good thing, as history has often been "produced" by the powerful to distort the facts in their favor.

For better or for worse, our agreed upon history has the effect of structuring our sense of time in a linear flow. In the epoch of Aquarius, history may well be "written" in a different mode, simultaneous, static state, like an electronic circuit, or a dream - the ''eternal" mode (John Lennon, "Imagine all the people...") Or we might just live it (so typical of Aquarius), and not explain it. I, on the other hand, with my Pisces/Virgo oppositions at the vertical angles (Saturn and Moon conjunct the midheaven in Pisces, opposed to Neptune in Virgo, and squared by Jupiter in Sagittarius, Sun in Libra), must explain things endlessly. Aquarian souls would only laugh.

Emmett Chapman can be reached at: stick@earthlink.net

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