The Super Spring
The horoscope for supernova Shelton 1987A was included in my winter 1987 Asteroid-World but I am including here the chart for an alternate time along with some additional discussion. I think the event may prove to be highly meaningful for the world. Also, we now have the birth date of the discoverer, thanks to Diana Rosenberg: Dr. Ian Shelton, born on March 30, 1957, in St. Boniface, Manitoba, Canada. We do not have his time of birth, but were told that he is single and has been interested in astronomy since he was very young. He was born close to a new moon in Aries, a fitting placement for a discoverer, with Venus and Mercury also in Aries. Based on his progressions, I suspect he was born in the late afternoon or early evening.
As most readers will know by now, the supernova (an exploding star) was first sighted on a photographic plate exposed by Dr. Shelton at Las Campanas Observatory which is run by the University of Toronto and is located in the mountains of north central Chile. Working during the night of February 23-24, 1987, Dr. Shelton finished his photographs at 4:20 A.M. UT, decided to develop them immediately, and noticed the new bright spot in front of the Greater Magellanic Cloud. He thought at first that the spot might be a flaw in the film, but when he went outside and looked at the sky, the new light was there, bright enough to be seen without a telescope. We were given the time of first sighting as 5:31 UT, but it is possible that this is the time the notification went out. Dawn was approaching, (the local time was only 2:31 A.M. but dawn comes early in the mountains), and an immediate astronomical telegram went out to the world so telescopes all over the southern hemisphere were focused that night on the new discovery.
Mark’s calculations put the supernova within four degrees of the pole of the ecliptic so though we can say that it is on an arc that would run through 7 degrees and 20 minutes of Aquarius, it is actually square everything on the ecliptic and cannot be said to have “normal” aspects. Its ecliptic latitude is 86 S 26. In the equatorial coordinate system used by astronomers for the initial announcement, the supernova is at 83 degrees and 53 minutes or 5 hours, 35 minutes, 34 seconds of Right Ascension, and at Declination 69 S 17. At that declination, it never sets, circling the sky above the horizon. You will notice that it is in the second house of the 5 31 A.M. chart and the third house of the 4:20 A.M. chart, though it was visible when Dr. Shelton photographed and sighted it. Bodies at “normal” latitudes near the ecliptic are only visible when in the top half of a horoscope. Unless he has personal chart angles around 14 Virgo and/or 29 Sagittarius, Shelton’s chart is more connected to the earlier 4:20 one which puts Shelton’s Pluto approaching the MC and his Saturn on the Ascendant. The Sun was on Shelton’s Vesta. The emphasis on Saturn and Vesta is appropriate for work-related action.
The supernova is mostly visible from the southern hemisphere though it can be seen as far north as 10 degrees north latitude, a line cutting through the middle of Costa Rica. In my Asteroid-World discussion, I suggested that the supernova was another indication of important developments occurring and to come in the southern hemisphere. It adds its message to the large number of planets which have been or soon will be at their farthest south declination, and to Halley’s Comet which was mostly visible in the southern hemisphere. The current debt crisis in Latin America has spread from Bolivia, to Peru, to Brazil, to Ecuador. Brazil announced on February 20 that it could not pay the interest due on much of its debt. Ecuador made a similar announcement on March 10 following its disastrous earthquake. Other developments include ongoing attempts of the Central and South American countries to work cooperatively. Formal economic cooperation began between Brazil and Argentina, former rivals, at the beginning of 1987, and relationships have been restored between Cuba and other Latin America nations. The Contadora Group initiated in Central America to try to bring peace to that tormented area has been broadened to include some countries of South America. We may be seeing the initial stages of a United States of Latin America similar to the EEC in Europe. The shaky nature of the current economic picture in the world may force a major restructuring of the system.
Another area of new developments which is likely to prove highly important in the years immediately ahead is the current work on superconductivity. It seems possible that the supernova is a pointer to this period of history as a turning point of some sort. Superconductivity is the transmission of electricity without resistance. It was first discovered in 1911 in the Netherlands, but only attained at a temperature near absolute zero, the temperature of liquid helium which is difficult to work with and very expensive. Muller and Bednorz are said to have achieved the first breakthrough, attaining superconductivity at higher temperatures in April 1986 in an IBM lab in Zurich, Switzerland, though it was apparently first reported in a German scientific publication in October 1986. The clue that metal oxides might produce results led to an explosion of activity by scientists in many areas of the world. Universities in Texas, California, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Alabama, Minnesota, Washington, DC, West Germany, Japan, and China have reported results with the new class of materials which involve combinations of copper, oxygen, and a variety of rare earths. IBM and Bell Labs along with government research centers (Los Alamos, N.M., Argonne in Illinois, Naval Research, etc.) are also hot on the trail of the new materials which conduct electricity at higher temperatures without loss of power. Science News has carried a series of articles, reporting that the pace of discovery is breathless and still accelerating. The new materials “are fairly easy for chemists to make, and so any two or three physicists and/or chemists can get together and get into the act. As Neil W. Ashcroft of Cornell University put it, this is ‘truly tabletop physics.’“ March 28, 1987
The new materials are more like ceramics than like metals, oxides rather than metal alloys, with magnetic inter-relationships which are puzzling the theorists. As early as April 7, 1984, Science News reported that a new form of superconductivity had been found in materials on the border line between those which could become ordinary superconductors and those that could become ferromagnets. Previously, superconductivity and magnetism had been considered mutually exclusive. One of the earliest uses of the new materials will be in computers to further shrink their size and increase their speed. Other prospects include the transmission of power without loss, very large magnets for medical magnetic resonance imaging, improved particle accelerators, and magnetically levitated trains. A prototype “Maglev” train in Japan established a world record when it reached 400 miles per hour according to the February 12 issue of Nature. We may finally get the pollution-free electric cars we have been eagerly awaiting for our smog-fighting cities. Improved military night vision scopes are promised soon. Many of these products will take years of development before they are fully available, but the basic breakthrough has been made.
The only dated and timed horoscope that I have for this new area is for the Japanese achievement of superconductivity. The Wall Street Journal on March 20, 1987 described the Japanese effort, after they read a February 15, 1987 press report from the University of Houston (Texas) on their latest breakthrough. Professor Uchida’s laboratory at the University of Tokyo became the scene of around-the-clock, seven days a week work, until they achieved superconductivity on March 1 at 2 A.M. The Japanese are now pouring their legendary energy into ways to put the new discoveries into commercial products. Can the chart help us to see periods of possible success?
The chart certainly fits our expectations. Ceres (a key to service with Virgo overtones) and Uranus (key to new knowledge) are conjunct the Ascendant (all on the Galactic Center) and trine Vesta (a major Virgo asteroid). Jupiter (ruler of the Ascendant and also associated with knowledge through its own nature and its placement in the third house), Venus in the first house in Capricorn (action related to money and work), and Pallas (cooperation or competition plus new knowledge in the natural house of Uranus) also aspect the rising Uranus. Saturn just above the horizon and Capricorn in the first house both point to the dogged determination, time and hard work which produced the breakthrough. Recalculating the chart for Washington, DC, the potential rival in a race between the U.S. and Japan for commercial applications of the new knowledge, we find an Ascendant of 26 Gemini with Uranus exactly on the Descendant. Could you imagine anything more appropriate? Pluto trines the Sun and Mercury, with Pluto in the tenth house in Japan and Sun in the tenth house in Washington, DC. The fixed nature of Sun and Pluto along with Mars opposite Pluto in Taurus, point to the struggle over money and power while the mutable emphasis in the chart shows the primary arena to be the world of the mind. The asteroid Tokio was conjunct Pluto when the breakthrough came in Tokyo. The Moon had just finished a square to Nipponia (Nippon is a name for Japan). The asteroid Washingtonia opposed the midpoint of Sun/Moon. The action closely followed the new moon in Pisces. The Antivertex of the chart in Japan was conjunct The NORC, an acronym for a forerunner of modern computers. Iris, the rainbow of hope, was on the East Point. The mean south node of the Moon was exactly on the MC, suggesting a lesson involving power and the laws of nature (MC) and cooperation or competition (Libra). Fuji, the asteroid named for Japan’s sacred mountain, was on the second house cusp (ultimate value connected to money?) and Potomac named for the river running through our capital was on Urania (similar to Uranus) and opposite Juno (cooperation vs. competition again). America was octile the rising Neptune pointing to the issue of faith; in Capricorn, the dreamer bringing the vision into tangible form.
Less than a month after the achievement of superconductivity, as the chart’s progressed (P) Moon moved into the exact square to Saturn, the U.S. slapped tariffs on some of Japan’s high tech exports to us. The U.S. claims that contrary to a recent agreement, Japan has been “dumping” (selling below cost) semiconductor chips. The degree to which the Japanese market is closed to other countries is also a continuing bone of contention. The same day that the U.S. announced its sanctions (March 27), Great Britain announced that unless Japan permitted their telecommunication companies to participate in the Japanese market, Great Britain might close their financial markets to Japanese bankers and stock traders. There are appropriate aspects in all the charts that I have for Japan: the inception of their Constitution on May 3, 1947; their attainment of full freedom on April 28, 1952 (both charts for 0 A.M. in Tokyo); their ceremonial head, Prince Akihito, December 23, 1933 at 6:39 A.M. in Tokyo; and their current Prime Minister Nakasone who was born in Takasaki on May 27, 1918 but for whom I have no birth time.
It seems likely that the new supernova is a notice from the cosmos that the current period is one of major change. The staggering debts of many countries (including the U.S.), businesses, and individuals could easily pull down the economic system, leading to wholesale bankruptcies and world-wide depression. Can humanity learn to share the resources of the planet? It is hard to rationalize a world which spends one million dollars on armaments every minute while 24 people, mostly children, starve. The figures are from a February-March 1985 issue of Technology Review, published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Moreover, if Ibn Browning is right, much worse conditions lie ahead. My copy of a 1985 interview with Browning comes from Laurel Hampel. Browning calls himself a “climatologist” and speaks of the “tidal forces” of the sun and moon, forces which affect the earth’s crust, not just the ocean. He predicted increased earthquakes and volcanic activity for the latter years of the 1980s and the early 1990s, especially during periods extending 411 days on both sides of December 30, 1986 and December 3, 1990. The devastating Mexican earthquake was just before his earliest 411 day period, but both the serious quakes in El Salvador and in Ecuador fell within the interval centering on December 1986. We will have to wait a bit for the 1989 to 1991 forecast. Browning also predicted very cold winters which would limit crop yields in Russia and Canada, and droughts which would kill millions in Africa. However, Africa has had more rains in the last two years and some African countries (including Sudan and Mali) currently even have a surplus of grain. Browning also claimed that nine of the twelve great wars fought by the U.S. corresponded to 1988 in his cycle work. I am profoundly uneasy about Reagan’s obsession with Nicaragua. This spring in Honduras, the U.S. is conducting its largest military maneuvers ever held in Central America. It would be easy to exaggerate a small incident to provide an excuse to invade Nicaragua.
Browning is obviously using some astrological variables in his work, but he did not respond to a letter of inquiry which I sent to him. The movement of two major planets into Capricorn in February 1988 suggests a cold period, and the Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions in 1980-1 in an air sign suggest periods of drought during the 20 years before their next conjunction in 2000. Capricorn is also traditionally associated with earth change, whether quakes or volcanic. But we have not been able to figure out exactly what techniques Browning was using from the limited material in the interview. If any of our readers knows the source of his 411 day periods, I would love to hear about it. There was a new moon in Capricorn on December 31, 1986 which actually occurred on December 30 in the western hemisphere. There will be a full moon on the day before Browning’s December 3, 1990 date but I haven’t spotted anything else remarkable at that time. Mercury reaches its farthest south declination about that time but that happens several times every year so Browning’s techniques are a mystery.
Another source of prophesies is Mark Lerner’s monthly newspaper which has just metamorphosed into a beautiful color magazine. Articles in both the last two issues have discussed material from Hopi, Aztec, and Mayan beliefs. The authors claim that a major 52 year cycle ends around August 19, 1987, and that the fifth destruction of the world might be immanent. Aztec myth described four earlier destructions and this summer’s action is projected to be the end of the old order and the beginning of a new order. I have looked at the progressions of our major U.S. charts and have run the transits and asteroids for August 19, but was not impressed that the period is as important as late April and May this year. Unfortunately, the people who write about the great metaphysical understanding of the Mayas seem not to be aware of the recent archaeological evidence for their cruelty. They not only performed regular human sacrifices like the Aztecs, they tortured their victims rather than killing them quickly as was usually (but not always) done by the Aztecs. One of the theories for the destruction of the Mayan ruling class (kings and priests) before the arrival of the Spanish is that the long suffering peons finally turned against them or just walked out on them. According to Amnesty International, torture is still standard government practice in an appalling number of countries in the world today. The U.S. CIA is credited with teaching modern techniques to several dictatorial regimes. The author of the article in Welcome to Planet Earth also seems unaware that major progress has been made in recent years in translating Mayan inscriptions.
Despite the doom and gloom of the preceding material, I am feeling more optimistic about the future than I have in some years. After November-December 1986 and April-May 1987 turned out to involve some Karma for Reagan via Iran-Contragate rather than the anticipated deepening of the depression, I have increased hope that humanity will muddle through the next few years. It is still quite possible that we will have a bloodbath of bankruptcies and a time of panic and famine. But the combination of the supernova and the new work with superconductivity could point to a way out without the extreme suffering. To avoid a deeper depression, we need to learn to share (an unlikely scenario at this point) and we need to bring new wealth into the system (my current hope). Modern technology is one obvious way to create new wealth. Just avoiding the waste of electricity in the course of its transmission would save millions of barrels of oil now used to produce power. And many other new technological developments are equally promising. A publication called Breakthrough reports such inventions and discoveries. For example, man-made membranes can now be used cost-efficiently to separate salt from sea water, and soon to remove pollutants from sewage and refine oil without heat. Imagine the oceans of the world available for drinking and irrigation, and the ability to clean the water that is destroying the birds in Kesterton. A chemical process has been discovered that is capable of completely removing nitrogen oxide which is produced in combustion by autos and factories. These gases play a major role in the creation of both smog ozone and acid rain. A “hydrogen match” has been developed to cost less than $50 that will automatically light and burn hydrogen in nuclear plants before it can build up to the explosive level: no more Chernobyls! A new process increases by 400% the number of phone conversations that can go across a telephone line. The magnetic refrigerator will be cheaper, smaller, more durable, and 30 to 40 times more efficient. New insulated windows will keep cold out in winter and heat out in summer. Super-plastic is coming, stronger than steel. A pocket satellite telephone, the size of a pack of cigarettes, will let you send short messages anywhere in the continental U.S. for about 5 cents a call. Solar energy is really coming. Biofertilizer from powdered algae will boost crop production, improve arid soils, extend the growing season, and a single application will keep fertilizing for years in milder climates. New gold mining techniques are 20 times faster than current leaching methods and recover 90 to 99% of the gold from even low-grade ores.
And speaking of gold, that is the other source of new wealth which is being added to the system. The California gold rush of 1849 helped pull the U.S. out of the critical depression of the late 1830s and early 1840s. The Alaska gold rush helped us recover from the depression of the early 1890s. The March 28-April 3, 1987 issue of The Economist, the English weekly magazine, has an article on the coming gold glut. Both new finds, including Brazil, Australia, the Philippines, and a fabulous one in New Guinea, and new techniques for recovering more gold from abandoned mines are adding to the world’s supply. The prospects are so good that we may actually produce a sufficient amount to put the world’s paper money back on the gold standard which was abandoned years ago. Basing money on stored gold can prevent the critical devaluation that comes with run-away inflation from excessive printing of paper currency. At the moment, the fear of the loss of value of paper money is keeping the price of gold fairly high as people buy and hoard gold.
Despite all the optimism of the preceding material, we still have to work out the issue of sharing. Earth currently produces a glut of both raw commodities such as food and of manufactured goods, yet people starve, are homeless, lack adequate clothing, and millions are unable to find a job. If most or all of the new wealth from gold and technology continues to end up in the pockets of the already-rich, the coming time of Aquarius will bring revolution and anarchy rather than brother-sisterhood and equality. A couple of weeks ago, I was privileged to hear a lecture by John Kenneth Galbraith, one of our wise, true liberals. He gave a serious talk but lightened it with humor like the comment that corporate leaders come to resemble the products they deal in: steel men are rigid; oil men are slippery; IBM officials display artificial intelligence. On the serious side, Galbraith described the damage done by Milton Friedman’s monitarist theories, pointing out that Friedman’s prescription of keeping interest rates high and reducing the money supply made the rich richer and damaged the industrial base of the country. He said taxes are a sounder way to support social programs, but wage-price restraint is also needed. He pointed out that Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Scandinavia and Japan all had social contracts, but that England and the U.S. seemed to enjoy and promote class conflict.
An interesting article in the March 7-13, 1987 issue of The Economist offered further support for that principle. The Economist is blatantly conservative, mostly supporting the Thatcher-Reagan revolutions which have tried to free the rich to take over the world, and they acknowledged being puzzled at Sweden’s success when it was violating all their laissez-faire principles. The summary of the article states: “Sweden is an economic paradox. It has the biggest public sector of any industrial economy, the highest taxes, the most generous welfare state, the narrowest wage differentials, and powerful trade unions. According to prevailing economic wisdom, it ought to be suffering from an acute bout of ‘eurosclerosis’, with rigid labour markets and arthritic industry. Instead, Sweden has many large and vigorous companies, and one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe.” p. 21 (Read “economic wisdom” to mean total freedom for the rich and powerful to do what they please, regardless of the consequences for the rest of the society.)
The Economist article goes on to say that “Sweden has used a capitalist engine to maximize output, and its public sector to redistribute the wealth through taxes and transfers.” The main principles in the system are described as a fairly tight fiscal policy (avoiding heavy government debt); industry left in private hands and companies allowed to fail if they are not able to produce profitably; small differences in wages which permit workers to shift from ailing companies to successful ones without personal financial sacrifice; government action to create jobs when needed; retraining of workers, subsidizing moves, information on available jobs, etc. provided by the government. By keeping people working or training for new jobs, Sweden has avoided the serious problem in most other western countries of having a large permanently unemployed class. The longer one is out of work, the harder it becomes to re-enter the system. For most people, there is an increasing loss of self-esteem and self-confidence. Sweden maintains both the carrot and the stick. Education, retraining, and financial assistance are always available to the displaced worker, but support stops if the individual refuses to take an available job.
There are no perfect answers, and we will not have a golden age until we have golden people. Greed, whether for money or for power, remains a major stumbling block to an equitable world. A recent conference at the University of Southern California on Eco-Feminism pointed out the similarity between the attempt of feminists to move toward equality with males who still dominate the businesses and governments of earth, and the attempt of ecologists to preserve nature (land and living creatures) from destruction by powerful humans. In both cases, there is a struggle against the abuse of power. In both cases, and in every other variety of power-struggle that goes beyond healthy, game-playing competition, as Blavatsky pointed out years ago, the underlying sin is belief in separation. The goal of our Piscean Age is to re-discover our connectedness, the ultimate unity of all creation.