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    Leo Solar Festival: part 1 | part 2 | Cancer Festival | Gemini Festival | Pisces Festival | Chinese New Year
    Dalai Lama Against Violence
    Dalai Lama Against Violence

    Leo's Moon:
    Leo Solar Festival [Part 2]
    The Festival of Sirius, at the Full Moon Eclipse in Aquarius 2008

    Malvin Artley, our regular esoteric commentator concludes his investigation of the subtle meaning of the Full Moon in Aquarius for 2008.

    The eclipse we will later discuss takes place in a tight square to China's meridian (4th/10th house axis). Neptune activates that (along with Mars and Chiron), thus squaring the meridian in March of next year. In fact, Neptune activates that eclipse twice in 2009, with one activation being the direct station of Neptune. The first transit of Neptune square to China's meridian was the retrograde station, which took place in mid-April of this year. It was at that time that China was embroiled in the riots in Tibet, along with troubles involving other minority groups in China (the riots began in March this year). With this eclipse squaring their meridian, it is anybody's guess as to what that will bring, but we have already seen that Neptune squaring the Chinese meridian brings disillusionment with China's image abroad, questions of homeland security for them and loss of face on the world stage. The fact that the eclipse occurs in the middle of the Olympics is of more than a little interest, too, and I have heard many people wondering if something was going to happen with the games. There have already been two terrorist attacks in the country since the start of the games and there would be factions within minority groups in that land who would love to take advantage of the games and draw world attention to their plight. January through March of next year will bring difficulties for China as Neptune does its work, with another difficult period to follow in the period from September 2009 through the end of that year for the same reason.

    Personally, I feel that there is going to be more seismic activity in China over the next year. The 12 May 2008 earthquake took place when Neptune was on the degree of the upcoming eclipse, and within three minutes arc of its retrograde station. One of my colleagues here calls the meridian in a chart the 'gravity axis', and the Neptune square to that axis in China's chart certainly seems to bring its share of instability to the country. That axis is also very sensitive in terms of the CCP. When Pluto squared it in 1952 China was heavily involved in the Korean Conflict and the purging of the bourgeoisie in China – the 'Five-Anti Campaign'. Neptune's passage over the MC marked the start of the Cultural Revolution. We have already looked at Falun Gong and Pluto's transit there. The Uranus square to the meridian in 1960 marked the public and bitter split between China and the Soviets. True to its form of bringing 'the urge to better conditions', the Uranus transit over China's MC saw the institution of the Special Economic Zones reforms in the country – one of its great success stories – along with the trial of the Gang of Four. The next Uranus square to their meridian coincided the Hainan Island incident when there was a collision between a US reconnaissance plane and a Chinese fighter jet. There is a lot of symbolism in that one. Had the incident taken place decades earlier, the outcome would probably have been much worse, but relations with China and the US were on a much better footing at that point in history. In all, China seems to do well with its Saturn returns and seems to restructure itself well, but stressful activations of its Saturn and Meridian by the outer planets do not bode well.

    Human Rights

    In looking at all the preceding, then, what do we have, potentially? China is doing very well at the games and its national pride will be helped considerably. However, there are still festering problems with minority groups in the country and China's history with human rights is, shall we say, less than stellar. There is a huge disparity between the rich and the poor in China, and great portions of the populace are feeling quite disadvantaged. Some of the things I read about human rights abuses in China while researching this letter – even in present times – has been horrifying. If there is one thing that will give China a black eye on the world stage and serve to destabilize it internally, it will be the issue of human rights, especially with regard to Tibet and to a lesser extent with Falun Gong and other minorities in the country. I firmly think a fair amount of instability will be felt throughout the country from now through 2009, both politically and geologically.

    The financial situation in the US and Europe is going to hit China hard. Economics will be the biggest destabilizing factor for China, along with minority groups. Any disruption to oil supplies could be devastating for the Chinese economy. There have been massive factory closures in China, and those have nothing to do with the Olympics. It has already been forecast that China's economic heyday may already be a thing of the past. I feel that China is going to come in for a bumpy landing after the end of the games as economic realities begin to hit home for the average Chinese citizen. Rising fuel costs and the cost of labor in China are the two biggest contributing factors aside from the economic slowdown in Europe and the US – China's two main export markets. China's dependency on high-volume, low-margin manufacturing makes it particularly vulnerable to economic downturns in the rest of the world.

    Olive Branch
    Olive Branch

    So, here's what I think: The Saturn return following so closely on the close of the Olympics will serve to give a renewed sense of direction for the ruling party in China. For example, in an amazing departure from past policies, HH The Dalai Lama has stated that he has no further objections to communist rule in Tibet. In a recent interview* he stated: “The main thing is to preserve our culture, to preserve the character of Tibet...........That is what is most important, not politics.” Basically, he has held out an olive branch to the Chinese leadership. It would seem to be in the best interests of the CCP to respond and dialog with HH if they wish to avoid further unrest. Further turmoil is the last thing Tibet or China needs at the moment. Bolstered by the games, the CCP could gain a lot of political capital and momentum for change and consolidation with the world at large. There is a myth, though, that has circulated in economic circles that China's economy was or could be decoupled somehow from the rest of the world – the US in particular – and that it could somehow wield undue influence over the US because it holds a great deal of US debt. In fact, the US and China have become economic 'bedfellows' over the past years and neither one can afford for the other to become unstable or to falter economically. It has been a strange turnaround and twist of fate from past relations between the two nations.

    The largest concerns I see for China, astrologically considered, come from the squares to its MC mentioned previously and several solar arc activations to the PRC chart. There is a danger to China, and it comes from within. We find a powerful activation of the PRC Neptune by the solar arc (SA) Mars and transiting Jupiter in mid-October. As well, Pluto is on the PRC South Node by SA, activated by Jupiter at the end of October. The danger to China is that, through pride and arrogance borne out of a great success (games and thriving growth), opportunities will be lost. Mars in combination with Neptune can give delusions of grandeur, and when Jupiter is there too, any fantasy or delusion has the capacity to become greatly magnified. I fear that the little person in China will get lost in mix somehow, and it will come back to haunt the Chinese government later – as in next year. If I was looking at the chart of an individual with this setup, I would say to enjoy the overflowing cup at the moment, but not to lose sight of the smaller details of life. Celebration can lead to burst hopes all-too-quickly if others are jealous of one's success or ignored in reverie. There may well be some skeletons from the past that come back to remind one of things left undone (SA Pluto on the PRC South Node). There may also have to be a less than favored alliance or connection from the past that either must be undertaken out of necessity or which comes up for a final sort of resolution. In all, though, China has a lot going for it if it can let go of its controlling and restrictive side. By all means, the Chinese should bask in accomplishment, but watch their back at the same time. It is a time to share wealth and happiness, not to get lost in the limelight. The world around China is not a stable place, which leads into the next point.

    US Fleet Exercising in Persian Gulf
    US Fleet Exercising in Persian Gulf
    Georgia and the Persian Gulf

    Recent events in Georgia and the Persian Gulf are troubling, to say the least. We need to have a closer look at the US in the next letter. I refer you to the two following links to indicate why:

    In short, there is a massive US naval strike force headed to the Persian Gulf at the time of this writing. The last time a force this large was seen there was in the lead-up to the two Gulf Wars. From the article in the latter preceding link:

    “The intent is to create a US/EU naval blockade (which is an Act of War under international law) around Iran (with supporting air and land elements) to prevent the shipment of benzene and certain other refined oil products headed to Iranian ports. Iran has limited domestic oil refining capacity and imports 40% of its benzene. Cutting off benzene and other key products would cripple the Iranian economy.”

    Keep this in mind, however – China imports roughly 60% of its oil from the Gulf region, and any disruption to the flow of oil through the Gulf is not likely to help China's relations with the West at all. China signed a huge deal with Iran for natural gas in 2004. Do we see what is possibly emerging here? The timing of this build-up and the Georgian conflict, coming so close to a US presidential election, will create a field day for conspiracy theorists. To astrologers, it is all just another day at the office. The build-up in the Gulf has been planned for a long time. You've heard the saying – “In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.” (Franklin D. Roosevelt)

    The Georgian conflict was exacerbated by the approaching square by Mars to Pluto, Mars being conjunct the 22 Sep 06 point today, as a matter of fact. We will look at the implications of that in the next letter. If there is going to be another war in the Gulf, I see the most likely time being around the end of October when Pluto again squares that degree and moves within orb of the Aries point, semisquared at the same time by Mars – just before the American elections. Then, we have the exact first 'hit' of the Saturn/Uranus opposition by transit on that very day. Anything can happen. Meditate. Pray. Be prepared. There is quite a bit to chew on there, considering what we see unfolding before us.

    Large Camel Crossing Desert
    Large Camel Crossing Vast Desert (Leo 25)
    Lunar Eclipse

    For dessert, let's have a look at the eclipse for 17 Aug 2008, which takes place at 7:10 AM AEST (16 Aug 08, 9:10 PM UT). Since it marks a solar festival as well, the solar degree is important. Its symbol reads:

    “A large camel is seen crossing a vast and forbidding desert.” – 25° Leo

    This is a symbol that denotes complete independence and total self-reliance. All Leo types eventually have to learn or exemplify those traits at some point in their lives. Like the camel, this Leo festival will indicate to all who spiritually strive to stand unmoved in the face of what goes on around them, to expect no help (even though help is ever-present) and to persist in one's pursuits in the face of all difficulties. To do otherwise would be self-defeating at the least.

    This is not to say that we should refuse help if it is available, but the point to be made here is that we should be prepared to go it alone if need be, whatever might be our circumstance. That is made all the more relevant by the degree of the eclipse (a lunar, North Node, partial eclipse), which reads:

    “A butterfly with the right wing more perfectly formed.” – 25° Aquarius

    Dane Rhudyar, in his 'take' on these symbols, equated the meaning of this symbol with the over-development of intellect at the cost of emotions – left-brain over right (since the right side of the body is controlled by the left side of the brain). He calls it 'a transmutation of emotional energies'. I have another thought on this, though. What does the relationship between the Sun and the Moon represent, spiritually considered? We are, after all, considering a spiritual festival here. Aside from the obvious Yin and Yang associations between the Moon and Sun, resp., there is a further association between them which bears a special significance for any Leo festival, especially when we consider the fact that Leo is about recognizing the Divine within the individual – seeing one's self as a God/Goddess. In the Sun and the Moon we have represented for us the symbolic interplay of Method/Compassion (Yang/Sun/Emptiness) and Wisdom (Yin/Moon/Bliss). When the Moon is 'new', Method and Wisdom are united (Sun and Moon are conjunct). At the solar festival (full Moon), Method and Wisdom stand in counterpoint, and the melody of the Soul is thus played for all to hear – each part of the melody standing in its own right and beauty.

    The Light of Wisdom

    With this eclipse, however – and the symbolism of this is most beautiful and poignantly illustrated – the light of Wisdom (the Moon) is partially blocked out (partial eclipse) by the experiences of earthly existence (the Earth blocks the light of the Sun from reaching the Moon). In other words, the task before us in this eclipse is to bring our recognition of the Bliss of living (our intuition, in other words) out from the shadows and fogs of daily life in order to make Compassion a more viable reality in our lives. In the true context of Yin and Yang, all must be in balance. If there is not enough structure/method, wisdom cannot unfold. If there is not enough wisdom brought to bear in the undertaking of one's tasks (method), then life becomes an empty exercise and the structure of one's life would eventually collapse under its own weight. The intuition/emotions must rise to balance the intellect or structure of one's life in the context of this eclipse, then.

    This eclipse, like the Aug 1 eclipse, is of the 10 South Saros Cycle. It is concerned with breaking out of very negative situations where there is no hope of resolution and one's options seem few. Worries will suddenly clear and new options should be taken up with little delay. The breaking out of old scenarios is greatly aided by the fact that Mars is in a tight square to Pluto in the figure. The sense of futility and frustration is indicated by the Saturn/Mercury/Venus conjunction, coupled with Neptune conjoined with the Sun/Moon axis. Neptune has a strange way about it, though. It either enhances delusions or it brings the most pristine insight. It depends upon where one is focused as to how it affects one. Being conjunct the Moon in this figure, Neptune can show us 'the way out', or 'show us the door', depending on how we look at it or respond to its energies. However, there is a stellium comprised of the Moon, Neptune, the North Node and Chiron – a very powerful and magnetic configuration in Magi Astrology, and a very good omen, to boot.

    Ripening Fruit

    So, if you have this eclipse point falling on or exactly opposite a key point in your own chart, good on you! Enjoy what comes. The eclipse point is both the problem and the solution rolled into one. In this case, it denotes new associations, great intuitive interplay, shared vision between those concerned and great inner healing. Add to this the fact that the Mercury/Venus/Saturn conjunction is in trine with Jupiter and the Sun is applying to the trine with Pluto, then the stage is set for those who have activations of their charts to reap their just rewards. The only warning here is that, from the symbol of the solar degree, one may have to go it alone for a time while things clear and opportunities ripen. Endings can be fraught. Intuition can be subtle or devastating. Fruit needs time to ripen, if you know what I mean.


    Yesterday marked a special day in the Buddhist calendar. It was the anniversary date of the conception of Guatama, the Buddha. Often, that date is listed as an alternative date to the Taurus birthday, which is celebrated in May. It is generally accepted that Guatama's mother gave birth to him in May (Taurus). For those who know about prenatal astrology, the conception date of 16 Aug is correct as a date of conception leading to a Taurus birth – the Buddha was conceived in the sign Leo. He had a 'Leo' mind, though he was born a Taurean. Buddhism is unique as a religion in that its tenets promote self-responsibility, self-effort, ultimate liberation from samsara (rebirth) through dint of those efforts, the cultivation of the mind as an instrument of that liberation and the absolute conviction that the attainment of that liberation is for the sole purpose that we come back and aid others in their own liberation – our own liberation for the sake of the liberation of all sentient beings – in the Mahayana/Vajrayana traditions, at least. That, my friends, is service (and with a compassionate smile :-) It all sounds suspiciously Leonine to me. Attainment of self for the sake of all others, the highest of the Leo traits, leads one to the ultimate in service and self-sacrifice. The glory that is the fully realized, liberated and awakened Being shines as an example, source of empowerment and beacon of hope, method and wisdom to all who thus warm and renew themselves in that Light. May we all be thus realized, if not in this life, then soon. Who knows – maybe Gautama was taught a musical instrument by one of his parents in some distant past life and He took it as a path of attainment then. I say it with respectful humor, but you never know................May we all get there together.

    Wishing all of you the best out of this most auspicious eclipse,
    17 Aug 2008

    Happy Birthday, Dad! (Wish I could have been there. Hope you enjoyed your cake!)

    *For the full story, see: NY Times Opinion If you cannot access the article, let me know and I will email the text to you.

    Go Backl Return to the start of this article.



    Yin YangMalvin Artley is an accredited member of the American Federation of Astrologers. His primary focus over the past 25 years has been on the sciences as they express occultism and with bridging work between the two. His special interests in those fields are the human subtle energy system and all the chakras, or energy centres, physics and technology, astronomy and all aspects of Chinese occultism.
    He sends out periodic emails about astrological happenings and developments. These letters are sent out as a gift and a service. If you wish to be added to or deleted from the mailing list please let me know. If you feel inspired to pass them on please do so, but do so without alteration or charge. They are sent to people of many persuasions, not just astrologers. Blessings. Click here to subscribe to Malvin's periodic letters.

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