Pandora: Key to Curiosity?
The ephemeris for Pandora is available from Al H. Morrison of New York. Box 75, Old Chelsea Station, N.Y., N.Y. 10113. $4 brings 100 years. The symbol chosen by Al and J. Lee Lehman is a box with a base more narrow than its top. The myth, as everyone knows, involved a box in which the troubles of the world had been safely packed. Pandora had been given strict instructions not to open the box, but her curiosity got the best of her so all the troubles came back to haunt the world. Like many other myths which blame females for anything that goes wrong, this one was probably dreamed up by a male.
In my limited experience to date, Pandora seems associated with intellectual curiosity; sometimes very disciplined but sometimes rather insatiable and scattered. It has been closely aspected in most of the astrologers’ charts in which it has been calculated. In the Montana seminar of June 1981, three women out of six in one room had Pandora conjunct the Ascendant. I have it conjunct the Descendant, but in the sixth house. I put it in all the charts in Lois Rodden’s book of famous women who were listed as having written anything; even a single autobiographical book. In the majority, Pandora was in a mutable sign or house (or both) and with aspects to the mental planets (Mercury, Jupiter, Uranus), using a three degree orb.
Sign placements included eight in Sagittarius, eight in Virgo, seven in Gemini, and three in Pisces with several more having Pandora in the twelfth house. The fixed signs came in next most strongly with six in Scorpio, four in Leo, three in Aquarius, and one in Taurus. The latter wrote a single autobiographical book. Cardinals trailed with three each in Cancer and Capricorn and two in each of the other cardinal signs. Of course the numbers are too small to be more than suggestive. I’m looking forward to the day when we can try it out in the samples of thousands of writers collected by the Gauquelins and Guy LeClerque of Brussels. Guy found Pisces very prominent in writers, with Gemini coming next in strength.
I am not suggesting that Pandora is especially linked to writers, but that it symbolizes intellectual activity which may be verbal or written. Jim Eshelman reports that he is finding a somewhat puckish, light-hearted sense of humor associated with a prominent Pandora. When not countered by a sign, house, or aspects suggesting intensity, it may mark the flippant, mischievous side of Mercury-Gemini.
One intriguing small sample of charts with Pandora in Scorpio included feminists and other forms of fighters such as Betty Friedan, Germaine Greer, Angela Davis, an underground fighter against the Nazis who later became a secret service agent, Billie Jean King, and Barbara Walters. The latter was involved originally in research and writing for T.V. before she became the hostess on the show. Aspects of Pandora to Pluto were common in the writers, symbolizing the research needed to obtain material, the intuition often involved in creative work, and the royalties that follow successful work. Pluto, Scorpio and the eighth house mark the capacity to share the world and its resources, whether we are fighting for what we believe is a fair share or reaping the rewards of past efforts.
In addition to the aspects to mental planets and to Pluto, the writers often had Pandora aspects to Ascendant, Mars, Sun (fire keys to creative, original action), and to MC or Saturn, keys to career or profession. I have not yet added Chiron to all the Rodden charts, but the charts in which it had been included frequently had aspects between Chiron and Pandora. I consider this appropriate, since I think Chiron is much like Jupiter but with some Uranian overtones.
Lois Rodden’s book of famous women includes the horoscopes of three professional astrologers; her own, Doris Doane, and mine. The patterns are fairly representative of those I have seen so far. Lois has Pandora in Gemini sextile Neptune and Jupiter (they are trine each other). Pandora is also trioctile the Ascendant, octile Chiron, and widely conjunct Mercury in Gemini (between 4 and 5 degrees). The chart was already highly mental, but Pandora repeated the message.
Doris Doane has Pandora within one degree of her first house Mars in Pisces, square Saturn in Gemini, octile Jupiter and Ascendant (exactly octile the midpoint of the two which are just six degrees apart) and semi-sextile Mercury. Pandora is just four degrees from a semi-sextile to Uranus, so the Pandora-Mars conjunction falls on the midpoint of Mercury-Uranus. Again, the mental emphasis is a repeated theme.
In my chart, Pandora opposes Vesta-Ascendant, trines Venus in the third house, sextiles Jupiter-Saturn in Virgo, and is trioctile Pluto on the cusp of the third house. Pandora is in Scorpio, just inside the sixth house.
One of the mythical themes associated with Pandora is the idea that once we have opened up or started something, it may be impossible to undo or stop the unfolding process. I have not seen many cases which supported this part of the myth, but a few could be interpreted in that way. For the moment, I am continuing to watch Pandora as a possible key to an inquisitive mind and/or verbal fluency. Remember that any interpretations of new factors in astrology must remain highly tentative until we have many more cases. And, as with every tool in astrology, the repeated theme is the primary goal. If our new tools are accurate, they should repeat the same message already present in the chart. They should amplify, clarify, emphasize, etc, not contradict or confuse. I am always pleased to hear about cases which throw light on any of the new tools under investigation, and hope that some of our readers are exploring the new asteroids. I must admit, I do not put all of them in every chart! At the moment, until we have them calculated on the computer, I put them in if the chart (or a personal contact with the individual) suggests that they might be relevant and support the themes already noted.