Asteroid-World Fall 1991
I’m back from my second trip to New Zealand during this year, and more than ever impressed by the beauty of the country and the great people I’ve met. Maritha and I visited Christ Church, Nelson, Wellington, Palmerston North, Havelock North, and ended at Auckland. Maritha had to go back to work at ACS and I stayed on to enjoy some additional sight-seeing. One of the most delightful excursions was to a spiritual community named Centrepoint which is not far from Auckland. I have the horoscope for the founder, Bert Potter, and for the arrival of the first occupant of the community, and they offer a fascinating picture.
According to a book about Potter’s life and the founding of the community, he was born at 11:05 P.M. on May 20, 1925 in Christ Church. He was named Herbert Thomas Potter and raised with one brother by a mother who was a devoted homemaker and a pensioned father with a crippled leg from the First World War. Bert’s father had been raised within the Salvation Army but his war experiences had led him to give up religion and he cautioned Bert against both war and religion. Bert’s mother taught him to read early and he tested as high IQ, but had problems with languages so was put in the engineering class which he liked for its practical approach. Despite his father’s advice, Potter was eager to be a pilot in the Second World War, and he received training in both New Zealand and Canada but the war ended before he was ready for service.
After some temporary jobs, Potter joined the occupation forces in Japan and made a lasting friend who encouraged him to go on to college. On returning to New Zealand, he enrolled in a course for teacher training, met and married his first wife, and after graduation, he taught for three months but he left the field to try his hand at business. Potter’s early description of himself is as a shy and insecure person with women, yet his first wife describes him as confident to the point of being arrogant. After a try at farming and additional teaching, Potter went into sales with a new vacuum cleaner company and found his talent for persuading people. He took the Dale Carnegie course, became an instructor in it, started his own successful business and became a leader in the business community in New Zealand. He and his wife had two children and adopted two more of mixed race. They lived well, while Potter was recognized as one of the top sales motivators in the country.
But Potter was increasingly unfulfilled by business, finding the personal counseling he did as a Carnegie instructor to be more satisfying. When his Carnegie supervisor and close friend died suddenly of a heart attack, Potter at age 45 hit mid-life crisis and did some serious re-evaluating of his life. He had read a Playboy article on the Human Potential movement which described Esalen, the California growth center which featured such psychotherapists as Fritz Perls, founder of Gestalt therapy, Will Schutz, Bernie Gunther, etc. In late 1971, Potter went to Esalen for three months of total culture shock. He met once- successful drop-outs living in cabins in the woods at Big Sur and decided to sell his own very successful business, which he did on returning to New Zealand. He and his wife separated amicably in 1972 while Potter became a radical therapist, a la Esalen but with his own unique flavor.
A number of New Zealand therapists were attracted to Potter’s combination of blunt integrity and genuine caring for people. A variety worked with him, and were sympathetic to his idea of developing a community. Potter had an intense but relatively short-term relationship with a woman during this period, but she preferred the beautiful home, fast cars, and luxury that Potter could no longer afford, so they went their own ways in 1975-1976. Potter described the experience as the most painful of his life. Potter was also struggling to formulate a religious faith, swinging between assertions that he was God and anti-religion statements. In mid-1976, Potter visited the Rajneesh ashram in India which was operating rather like Esalen with Rajneesh in the role of spiritual guru. Potter decided that the thing that differentiated a guru from others was not any special powers but a basic faith in his own rightness. He experienced Rajneesh as lacking any doubts that he was okay, others were okay, and the world was okay.
Unfortunately, Rajneesh demonstrated by his actions that quite the converse was true. He turned his Oregon ashram into an armed camp, full of weapons and equipped to wiretap people in almost any area of the ashram, as the authorities discovered when they took it over and arrested him. Rajneesh also kept himself walled off from his followers in total contrast to Potter’s close personal involvement with his community members. And Rajneesh amassed material wealth, collecting luxury automobiles for example. The latter may have been partly for ego-needs (that in itself a sign of personal insecurity), but I think that the excessive collecting of material possessions was also partly for security reasons. When AIDS appeared in the world, Rajneesh also flipped from approving total sexual license to demanding celibacy, a more traditional Indian spiritual attitude. Both his horoscope and the actions of Rajneesh suggest that he was more than a little paranoid but he apparently put up a convincing front in his talks and his writing was often very inspiring, perhaps because he was still trying to convince himself that he and the world were okay. We have described his horoscope in a couple of back issues of The Mutable Dilemma.
But Potter perceived Rajneesh as holding the same convictions as himself, and many of Potter’s friends and associates agree that one of the most impressive qualities about Potter is his lack of personal doubts or fears and his ability to immediately zero in on the areas of doubt or fear in others and to force them to face these vulnerable areas. His success in therapy is attributed to this talent for forcing people to face these areas in themselves while offering totally focused emotional support when they do.
The land for the new Community was purchased just outside Albany, New Zealand, and the first resident arrived on January 28, 1978 at about 10 A .M. The early years were difficult as people tried to adjust to living communally with all possessions, even clothing, held in common. Potter insisted that the path to growth required total honesty and openness, even to the point of rejecting doors to conceal toilets and bathing facilities. A video shown on New Zealand TV included scenes of a baby’s birth with the whole community in attendance to watch the event. Needless to say, it was called pornographic by some New Zealand viewers and it created a furor which intensified the legal problems for Centrepoint. The legal struggles went on for years with the members actually forced off their land by a court decision on December 15, 1983. For 18 months, members lived in buses and rented shacks.
An uneasy peace currently prevails with the remaining members of Centrepoint, but many members have left in recent months. Community membership is down from over 300 at its height to around 150 and I think that includes the children. The adult members may now number under 100. A crisis came on September 8, 1989 when Potter was arrested for possession and supply of LSD and MDMA, the mind-altering drugs which helped to produce the counter-culture movement of the 1960s and 1970s. On March 24, 1990, Potter was sentenced in Auckland to 3 1/2 years in jail. Even more serious charges may be brought against him in the near future, and possibly against other male members of the early community: child abuse. Members admit that in the stress of getting the community started in the early days, the children tended to be neglected, but whether there was real abuse remains to be proved. Potter’s second wife and twin daughters live at Centrepoint and the children of the community now seem very well cared for with an up-to-date pre-school facility and many caring adults of both sexes looking after them. Part of the financial support of the community comes from a variety of crafts which are produced by members, and they also have a thriving plant nursery including a greenhouse for seedlings. Therapy is a constant process for group members and regular workshops are held which are open to the public. I have visited a number of communities in the U.S. and was very impressed by what has been accomplished at Centrepoint.
Turning to Potter’s chart, we can immediately see in five ways the identification with God which is the mark of a potential guru, a label eventually accepted by Potter though he rejected the Indian models offered by Rajneesh, Sai Baba, and others. For identification, we look to all forms of letter one of our astrological alphabet; Mars, planets in Aries, planets in or ruling the signs in the first house, the Ascendant and our two auxiliary Ascendants, the East Point and the Antivertex. Both letters nine and twelve represent our search for the Absolute. Letter nine (Jupiter, planets in Sagittarius and those in or ruling the signs in the ninth house) symbolizes our conscious search for a belief system to define our values and goals, to specify what we can trust and where we can find meaning. Letter twelve (Neptune, planets in Pisces and in or ruling the signs in the twelfth house) shows our unconscious search for faith, for infinite love and beauty and oneness with the Whole.
Uranus rules Potter’s Aquarius Ascendant and is in Pisces while Saturn, the Ascendant co-ruler, is in the ninth house. The East Point is in the twelfth house and the Antivertex is conjunct Jupiter while Chiron (interpreted as similar to Jupiter) is in Aries. Of course, astrology only shows the psychological principles. The individual can manifest these principles in many different ways. One extreme of the identification with the Absolute is demonstrated by the person who feels he/she can never be good enough since perfection has not been achieved. They might always have done something better, bigger, sooner, easier, etc. The other extreme is the person who feels that he/she is God and can do anything or have anything that is desired. This is the GURU as Potter recognized, and his description of himself as “without any doubts” does substantiate his claim to the role. My feeling is that a more sensible and satisfying position is in the middle between the extremes. My favorite motto is “I’ll be God tomorrow (or maybe next week). Today, it’s okay to be human, on the way to perfection and enjoying the journey, not kicking myself because I haven’t arrived yet.”
In Potter’s chart, additional keys to identity (letter one in our alphabet) include four counts for Aquarius since the Ascendant and the East Point are in the sign and Jupiter, co- ruling the first house Pisces, and the Antivertex are in the Aquarius house. There are two counts for Leo with Neptune, ruling the first house Pisces, in the sign and Mars in the Leo house. There are two counts for Scorpio with Saturn, co-ruler of the Ascendant sign, in Scorpio and Mars conjunct Pluto. There are two counts for Capricorn with Jupiter and the Antivertex in the sign. There is one count for Cancer with Mars in the sign and we could add a second since the East Point is conjunct a lunar node. There is one count for Taurus with Uranus in the second house, one for Gemini with Aries occupied in the third house and one for Virgo with Neptune in the sixth house. So we have added identification with the rebel, with the king, with the executive (or conditional-love father), with a mate, with the mother, the unconditional love parent, with physical pleasure, with communication with people nearby, and with the details of doing a good job. Clearly, the power themes are strong.
There are two obvious configurations in the chart; the stellium in Taurus, much of it in the Gemini house, which emphasizes personal needs, often including a youthful, easy-going attitude about life, and the grand cross in fixed signs and mutable houses. The fixed dilemma involves possessions, pleasures and power. We are challenged to enjoy the physical world but also to be able to share it with others and to master the appetites; to give others the freedom we want for ourselves but also to be able to maintain a love commitment. The mutable dilemma involves our ability to have a clear value hierarchy to set goals and make choices but also to enjoy the process of moving toward the goals so we are not waiting till we arrive to be happy. We have to reconcile our ideals with what is possible and necessary in the world around us. There may be conflicts between different values or a lack of faith in a higher power which would permit us to do our share and then let go and trust.
The Taurus emphasis in Potter’s chart is a clear warning that the sensual, personal side of life might outweigh the self- mastery and sharing called for by Scorpio, especially when we see that Saturn, our primary key to lessons, is in Scorpio. But, the Scorpio is in the ninth house, a key to our ultimate beliefs and values. So it is fascinating to observe that Potter turned one side of Scorpio, the ability to share the material world, into an ultimate ideal, even including sexual sharing with many people which is not a part of Scorpio. The intense Scorpio drive to reach self-knowledge also was elevated as a supreme value and goal. Of all of our twelve sides of life, letter eight is most characteristic of depth psychotherapy. However, the potential of Scorpio for self-mastery over the appetites and for commitment to a single partner were lost. Esalen clearly played a role, with its emphasis on unrestrained physical pleasures. One of Perls’ favorite mottos was “get out of your mind and come to your senses,” a motto that was bound to appeal to the Taurus side of Potter. The nude, communal baths at Esalen were replicated at Centrepoint, along with the uninhibited, emotional acting out that played a role in many of the “new” therapies and the LSD and other mind-altering drugs which helped to produce the counter- culture of the 1960s.
Potter had always had problems with the concept of God, following his father’s rejection of conventional religions. Saturn represents the father first and then later the other authorities in our lives and our conscience as an inner authority. It is common for Saturn in or ruling the ninth house to indicate a tendency toward agnosticism or atheism until the individual finds adequate evidence to justify belief in something beyond the material world. A ninth house Saturn was the most common placement for the famous scientists studied by the Gauquelins, and science for the most part continues to believe in the theories of materialism, turning infinitesimal matter-energy charges into the final power of a meaningless cosmos. So Potter’s innate skepticism (which I would attribute to tendencies brought in from former lives) and his early training by his father made an uneasy compromise with his personal identification with the right to be an Absolute who could live as he pleased. And he was sufficiently Aquarian and Piscean to acknowledge that everyone else was equally Absolute except they didn’t know it yet. His self-appointed job was to dig out and destroy any personal doubts so they could claim their freedom yet they were forced (if they stayed in Centrepoint) to accept his ultimate values of sharing everything and hiding nothing.
But if the followers do not dig out and deal with their own self-doubts and inadequacies, if they continue to project their own power into Potter, turning the Guru into their God instead of finding their own god-potential, the danger is well illustrated in a quotation in Len Oakes book about Centrepoint. Oakes writes on page 98, “Because spirituality at Centrepoint flows directly from contact with Bert, it will end when he dies. Members readily accept this.” A quotation from a member named “Dave” includes the belief that after Bert dies “I imagine that my growth will stop. It might change, double, or halve, who knows? I might stagger on another couple of steps, but I suspect I’ll be limited to where I’m at when he dies. Other people may do it in other ways, but this is my way and when he dies, it’s over for me.”
In contrast to the impression given by most gurus and the dogmas presented by virtually all organized religions, I think that the primary principle of Sagittarius is a SEARCH for Truth which never ends. With letter nine, we are on a journey seeking knowledge of the Absolute, but if we think that we have actually arrived, we have fallen into what the Bible calls the “deadly” sin of pride. When we think we have arrived, we stop moving, learning, growing. The horrifying excesses committed in the name of “religion” illustrate the danger of turning any fragment of life or any rigid dogma into an idol. We need all twelve sides of life, each expressed in its own appropriate time and place, and there are even potentials for conflict within each of the twelve which may need to be integrated.
I have written more than once in previous issues of Asteroid-World and The Mutable Dilemma about the potential for conflict between different parts of some of the twelve sides of life in our astrological model of human nature. The recent showdown between capitalism and communism is a particularly good illustration of such a conflict within Aquarius. Letter eleven values both freedom and equality. Communism (including such spiritual communities as Centrepoint) makes equality the primary value. Capitalism makes individual freedom the primary value. Forced equality (as practiced in China and Russia) denies freedom. Total freedom (as practiced in ruthless capitalism) produces a few very wealthy people and many very poor people. As is usual in life, a compromise somewhere in the middle (as attempted by New Zealand’s former governments) is usually a more comfortable solution but given human greed, it is not easy to attain.
Sagittarius (and Jupiter and the ninth house of course) makes Truth one of its absolute values. But it is in conflict with Virgo which values efficient accomplishment in the material world and with Pisces which is ultimately sensitive and empathic and does not want to hurt anything. When we carry any one of our twelve sides of life to its ultimate potential at the expense of its natural antagonists (the signs which square it in the natural zodiac), we get a monster. Unfortunately, Potter’s insistence on total openness and total physical license came close to destroying the community. In practical Virgo terms, the extremism hurt many in the community who turned against it in court and the cultural resistance in the society outside it has kept the community embroiled in law suits, another of the manifestations of Sagittarius. We also note that Potter has our other key to a primary lesson, the south node of the Moon, in Aquarius in the Pisces house and that progressed (P) Saturn has remained square to it for Potter’s whole life along with the square to the north node in the Virgo house. Potter’s conscious beliefs, including his belief that he was God, have been in conflict with his empathy and his practicality. Supported by his strong Taurus, Gemini, and Cancer, he demonstrated immense practicality in his handling of the community finances and the development of the structures and auxiliary support facilities for his own community operated as an extended family.
But in the Virgo and Libra area where he had to deal with the larger community around his Center, his Leo right to be King and his Sagittarius conviction that he was right overrode his empathy and his common sense. And he ended up acting as if his personal will was not only God and King but also Executive, bigger than the Law of the land and the executives elected to enforce it. So he found that the Law was bigger than his own will, as we all do eventually if we challenge Saturn. I suspect that he still needs to develop faith in an Absolute that is larger than his own power, that can sometimes permit less than total openness for the sake of sympathy and practicality. I wonder how he is handling jail, and whether that has led him to find a bigger God?
Potter’s current patterns show the pressures connected with his genuine love of his own and his extended family. P Mercury, a ruler of both the fourth and fifth houses (home and family), was square natal Sun when he was arrested while P Venus opposed the Ascendant at the same time as he was taken away from his wife and children. P Mercury was also square P Pallas (often associated with lawyers and politicians as well as with counselors of all kinds) and Pallas has since reached the conjunction with his natal Sun while Venus moved in to square it during the costly legal battles. P Sun had entered Leo shortly before the arrest and was square natal Pallas. P Vesta was and is still conjunct Ceres as the evidence is being gathered for the charge of child abuse in the early stages of the community. P MC was quincunx P Mars in the sixth (work) house as the law officials (MC equivalent to Saturn) took him (Mars) away from his lifework. The local (in Albany) P MC was quincunx Neptune at the same time. P MC is now quincunx Neptune while L P MC is quincunx P Neptune. And to hammer in the point of Potter’s contest between his personal will and power (Mars) and the power of the law enforcers (the MC), P Mars was in the third year of a square to the natal MC when he was arrested and P Mars is currently still in a square to the local MC. During these same two years, P East Point and L P Ascendant have been trine natal or P Neptune. Perhaps Potter is touching a larger faith, at least at the unconscious level where Neptune operates most of the time.
He will need that faith in the months ahead. Potter’s P Sun will reach the square to his tight Moon-Mercury conjunction in February 1992 and his P Moon will quincunx them during April to May 1992 as well as form a trioctile to the local MC. In January 1992, P Moon reaches Libra and an octile to natal MC, so the troubles with the law are far from over. Libra can be either cooperation or conflict, litigation, warfare. Then in April 1992, P Mars reaches a conjunction with Neptune and Potter’s faith in something larger than himself becomes a truly crucial issue. Jim Jones had that aspect when he “went crazy” according to one of his devoted followers who had been with him for years. Jones started telling his followers that he was God. He threw the Bible on the floor, stamped on it and told them to just listen to him and not read the Bible. He ordered them to pretend to be sick and then pretend to be healed in his public services to get money from the public. He became physically and emotionally abusive of his followers, took drugs, and engaged in sexual extremes. From a charismatic leader of devoted followers who shared a spiritual community with deep love bonds and mutual support, he plunged into a depravity which ultimately took about 800 people to death by drinking poisoned kool-aid.
I certainly do not expect Bert Potter to be a Jim Jones but the similarities are not comfortable. Jones had a pensioned father who was crippled in the world war, but he despised his father who belonged to the Klu Klux Klan and put down blacks as a way to build his own ego. Jones reacted by aiming his healing ministry especially at blacks. Jones also had a Taurus Sun and a strong third house, though the latter was mostly factors in Aries. But Jones was riddled with self-doubt and the need to bolster his ego. Potter stands on a foundation of personal confidence and high success in the world. But during the potential “dark nights of the soul” in the months ahead, he will need faith in something beyond himself and he will need to learn one of the lessons which is very hard for the fixed sides of life (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius) as well as for the sides seeking the Absolute (Sagittarius and Pisces) IF they think they have reached it: the lesson of moderation and compromise.
Yes, Potter also had some dramatic asteroids! In view of his life, I expected aspects involving our three “over-reach” asteroids—Icarus, Phaethon, and Hybris (hubris). The latter hit the jackpot! Limiting ourselves to one-degree orbs as usual, Hybris was on the Albany Ascendant both natally and by progression since it had turned retrograde in Potter’s lifetime. Icarus was in the first house in Pisces and during this challenging period, P Herbert has been conjunct it as Herbert Potter reaped the consequences of his over-reach. At the same time, P Phaethon has been squaring natal Icarus and P Herbert while it conjuncted natal Venus and Atlantis. The latter, as our regular readers know, is typically involved during power struggles, often associated with the abuse of power. P Atlantis is also involved as it is moving with P Aten (a sun god) conjunct Pluto while Potter is in the limelight (a sun potential) over sexual-sensual issues (Pluto as well as the fifth house).
In light of the impact of Esalen on Potter’s belief system, I also expected California and America to be important and they were. At birth, California was conjunct Chiron, fitting the role of the state in shaping his identity as a spiritual leader, and America was in the ninth house square Jupiter, natural ruler of the ninth house of supreme values based on one’s beliefs. Also on natal America and sharing the square to Jupiter were Makover which pointed to the revision of Potter’s beliefs in America, and Vinifera which was named for grapes used to make wine. As far as I know Potter was not excessive in his use of alcohol, but he did bring the mind-altering drugs back from America and I suspect that the various asteroids with names related to alcohol may generically stand for a variety of Piscean forms of escapism. P America has held a long opposition to Chiron and California from the ninth house of beliefs, the search for truth, and law courts. P California was moving over natal Sun prior to and at the time of the arrest. It is now trioctile P Jupiter and square natal Herbert, so still reminding us of the lasting consequences of Potter’s experiences in the state.
Other asteroids which might be keys to drug involvement and emotional excesses are Dionysius and his Roman version, Bacchus. Potter had natal Dionysius square Moon-Mercury from Leo and P Sun will reach it in April 1992 just about the time that P Dionysius reaches the square to natal Sun. As this is written in early November, P Dionysius is conjunct P Venus and square P Pallas. Potter had natal Bacchus at 15 Aries in an octile to natal Herbert at 0 Pisces. P Bacchus is currently conjunct Mars and octile P Neptune. Neptune, of course, has held a very long octile to Mars which makes the approaching Mars-Neptune conjunction even more intense. Another long term progressed aspect is the P Pluto octile to natal Sun, another reminder of the fixed dilemma issues of appetite control, commitment in love, and caution in the handling of power. And still another long- term aspect involving traditional planets and the mutable as well as the fixed dilemma is the P Uranus (ruler of Aquarius) in the Taurus house trioctile to Saturn in Scorpio. Both planets are rulers of the Ascendant so their lifetime conflict aspect shows a major conflict within Potter which needs to be resolved; in the fixed parts of life as listed above, and in the identification with God with Uranus in Pisces and Saturn in the ninth house.
There are far too many relevant asteroids to be able to list them all, but I want to mention the two new ones which were named for New Zealand between my trip there last February and the one in October. Aotearoa is the Maori name for the country, meaning the “long white cloud.” Aoraki is the Maori name for Mt. Cook, the highest mountain in the south Pacific. Potter had natal Aoraki on Jupiter, so it holds all the aspects mentioned above for natal Jupiter and it symbolizes Potter’s climb to be a spiritual leader despite his personal ambivalence over religion. P Aoraki is holding a long octile to the natal and local Ascendants which are always a key to one’s personal will carried into action. Natal Aotearoa was just out of orb of a square to Moon-Mercury but P Sun is currently opposing it while P Aotearoa is conjunct P MC, quincunx Neptune and opposite P Karma, one of our newest asteroids. P MC in Albany was conjunct P Aotearoa when Potter was arrested, when the New Zealand authorities clamped down. Also, the natal and local progressing East Points and Ascendants have been moving through squares to natal and P Jupiter, natal Antivertex, and P Aotearoa.
Many more asteroid aspects could be mentioned, but we had better go on to the chart for the occupancy of Centrepoint if we are to have any space left to discuss some of the possible horoscopes for the country of New Zealand. I can’t imagine a more appropriate chart for the founding of a “spiritual and therapeutic community” than a chart with Pisces rising, Neptune on the MC, a Virgo Moon on the Descendant, and Jupiter in the fourth house in Gemini for the emphasis on an extended family (Gemini for siblings and other relatives) which specializes in equality and communication (air principles). Equalitarian values are paramount in Centrepoint and that includes an avoidance of sexual stereotyping. Men can care for children and women can be leaders in the craft businesses which help to support the community. The mixture of “father” and “mother” roles shows in the chart with Mercury ruling the fourth house and placed in the tenth house while Jupiter rules the tenth house and is placed in the fourth house. Ceres, usually a key to mother along with the Moon, is also in the tenth house which is a little more likely to signify father while the fourth house signifies mother.
The mutable dilemma is strongly present in the chart, matching the founder’s struggle to integrate ideals with common sense and head goals with heart goals. The founder’s fixed dilemma is also echoed in the community chart with P Saturn in Leo holding a long square to Vesta in Scorpio and an opposition to the Antivertex in Aquarius. The presence of the factors in mutable houses also precisely repeats Potter’s struggle between the ninth house conviction that Truth and ultimate value have been found in sharing the physical world and in total openness and honesty at the expense of effective handling of the bourgeois world of the sixth house and the sympathetic restraint of the twelfth house. As in Potter’s chart, Saturn, our primary key to the “rules of the game” of life in the physical world, is maintaining the tension aspects for many years, indicating that it is a deep-seated conflict that is not easy to resolve. To add further emphasis to the pattern, the midpoint of the Sun and Moon is closely conjunct Vesta, a symbolic equivalent to having both Sun and Moon in the T-square. Atlantis, our “power-struggle” asteroid is also closely conjunct Vesta along with several other midpoints including Juno/Pluto (equivalent to a double Pluto), Pallas/Uranus, Venus/Moon, and Antivertex/Saturn. The issues could not have been shown more strongly. Additional midpoints fall precisely on the Antivertex for still more emphasis.
In addition to Saturn, I always look at the south node of the Moon as a key to a primary lesson. If Saturn and the south node have an element, a quality, or one of the twelve sides of life in common, it is a helpful clue to an important area for growth. If we fail to grow voluntarily, life will push us into it. In this case, Saturn and the south node are both in fire signs and the node is also in a fire house, so the fire element is a key. Fire represents our sense of our right and power to do what we please. An excess of fire can live life without any doubts but sooner or later the individual (or group) will carry the self-will into some kind of excess that violates earth (practical limits) or water (empathic protection of ourselves or others). It is obvious that the double Aries (sign and house) needs to be integrated with the rights of others (the north node in Libra in the seventh house) and with the rules of the game (Juno in double Capricorn) whether these rules take the form of natural law, cultural regulations, people in power positions, or one’s conscience at the inner level. P south node is still in orb of the square to Juno so the issues are still urgent. When Potter was arrested, P Venus (ruler of both Taurus and Libra) was at the midpoint of Juno and the south node holding an octile to both. P Venus will reach the opposition to P Saturn by February 1992. It starts the square to Atlantis in January 1992.
Many other features might be mentioned in both the natal and the progressed (current) charts. The asteroids provided their usual stunning performance. Pluto in its own house again highlights the Scorpio issues of shared possessions and sensuality and power along with its passion for self-knowledge and self-mastery. Hidalgo was named for a Spanish Priest who led a revolution seeking Mexican independence and was killed for his rash idealism. (I have also heard that Hidalgo was a bit of a libertine in his handling of sensuality.) In the Centrepoint chart, natal Hidalgo was conjunct Pluto on one side and Herbert on the other side. Herbert was and still is also square the tenth house Mercury (the rules of the game and authorities who enforce them) and both natal and P Herbert are quincunx the Ascendant, hinting at Herbert Potter’s separation from the Community. P Moon had just entered Pisces and reached a trioctile to Pluto when Potter was arrested. Natal Phaethon was just above the Ascendant, out of the one-degree orb I use, but it was within one degree of a square to the MC and Neptune. P Phaethon had moved into the first house to square Jupiter at the arrest and it has since moved into a quincunx to Saturn and a square to Ceres. The patterns point again to child-parent issues. Natal Icarus was on Venus. P Icarus was octile the progressed angles at the arrest and it reached a square to Uranus soon afterwards. P Asmodeus, the “demon of lust,” was conjunct Uranus. P Mercury was on natal Hybris (hubris). P Hybris was on P Freud (who emphasized sex in his therapy) and both were on natal Venus and Icarus for the arrest with Hybris far enough to have reached a conjunction with natal Dionysius. P Dionysius was on P Venus. I always wonder how much explanation I should include for the well-known Greek mythical figures. I trust most of our readers are familiar with them by now. P Icarus had also reached a square to P Pan which was on natal California. P California was quincunx Neptune-MC. Most of these progressed aspects are still in orb since the asteroids move relatively slowly.
So the chart for Centrepoint repeats the coming stress which potentially involves finances, children, sensuality, and power (fixed issues by the signs) and ethics, judgment, and law courts (mutable issues shown by the houses). The fact that all of the progressing angles were about to move into new signs in 1989 was an indication of changes which were likely in 1990 when Potter received his conviction and jail sentence. Looking ahead to 1992, we see that P Moon has gone into Aries in September 1991 and that it will conjunct the south node (also of course squaring Juno and opposing the north node) during March to May 1992. Potter and the community will be learning together. In light of all that the members of Centrepoint have accomplished against heavy pressure, I certainly hope that they will continue to work and learn together. They have planted thousands of native New Zealand trees to help to heal the land. They have provided shelter and psychological assistance to a variety of impaired people who would otherwise have been a financial burden on the larger society. They are living creative and productive lives, learning new skills including the very difficult one of sharing at physical, emotional and psychological levels. We need to be Aquarian enough to permit experimental communities so long as the members are there by voluntary choice and are not a liability to the larger society. I hope that if I come again to New Zealand, I will find that Centrepoint is thriving, finding peace within and without.
Reference: Inside Centrepoint, The Story of a New Zealand Community. Len Oakes, Benton Ross Publishers, Auckland, NZ 1986
I am indebted to Richard Paul of Auckland for the data on possible charts for New Zealand. Richard loaned me a large notebook of information which he has been gathering for many years. The limited time I have had to check some of the possible charts seems to support two or three as most promising though one may need a time adjustment and I am still unsure of the rationale for deciding between two dates for another. Until recently, a Dutch seaman named Able Tasman was credited as the first European to sight New Zealand on December 16, 1642. However, a new book cites an oral tradition among the Maori that they had an east coast contact with a ship that must have been Spanish or Portuguese that may have occurred as early as the 15th or 16th century.
New Zealand was rediscovered by British Captain Cook (actually first spotted by sailor Nicholas Young) who sighted the promontory named for him on October 6 or 7, 1769. A sailor on the ship noted the time in the log as 1:30 P.M., which I am assuming was LAT. There is some confusion over the date with some references giving it as October 7, but according to Richard Paul, Cook was following a navy system of changing the date at noon rather than 0 A.M. as is done currently so he recorded the event on October 7, but he actually began what he called October 7 at noon on the 6th. I know that astronomers used to start the day at noon, but I am not sure whether it was the noon before or the noon after our present usage of beginning the day at 0 A.M. If it was the latter, the discovery date is probably October 7.
So far, I have only worked with Cook’s chart set for October 6, at Young Nick’s Head, New Zealand, 38 S 45, 177 E 55, and it seems one of the most promising in my limited check of some events in their history. The discovery of New Zealand by Tasman was recorded as before noon, but a speculative chart for late morning does not look impressive, and it was the British discovery which led to New Zealand’s eventual incorporation in the British Empire.
Another event which marked a major step in the development of the nation was the Treaty of Waitangi when 46 Maori Chiefs signed an agreement with Captain Hobson to accept the rule of the British provided their lands and rights were guaranteed. The influx of Europeans who sold guns and alcohol to the warlike Maori had created havoc in the power balance between the different tribes, with a serious loss of law and order as the native culture experienced the usual culture-shock from impact by a technologically advanced culture. Another 500 Maori, mostly Chiefs, also signed the document after the original meeting as missionaries carried it around the country. Unfortunately, there are conflicting reports on the time of the original signatures at Waitangi, but the time range is pretty surely limited to between 10 A.M. and noon. Richard Paul has rectified the chart to 10:52 A.M. LMT on February 6, 1840, at 35 S 15, 174 E 6. The event was certainly a major step in the history of the country, but whether it qualifies as a major chart for the country is more uncertain.
A few years later, on June 2, 1858, the Maori met at Ngaruawahae, 37 S 40, 175 E 9, at 8 A.M. to try to set up a Maori Kingdom. They were seeking to consolidate their waning power in the face of European pressure, but nothing much came of the effort.
A much bigger change came when New Zealand became a Dominion in the British Empire, being granted much more autonomy in the conduct of their affairs. The Dominion status came into legal effect at 0 A.M. on September 26, 1907, but that might be using London time which would be noon the same day in New Zealand. The action was proclaimed at 11 A.M. on the steps of Parliament in the nation’s capital of Wellington, 41 S 18, 174 E 47. In my limited testing, the 11 A.M. chart seems to work better.
One more important step toward autonomy came with the Westminster Treaty which actually received royal assent in London on December 11, 1931 but was not formally adopted in New Zealand until November 25, 1947. Don Forrest, an early astrology teacher in New Zealand who has since died, used a time of 2:30 P.M. on December 11 as his preferred chart for the country’s independence, but his source for that time is unknown. If the vote to accept the Treaty occurred in Parliament during the day, that time might be the crucial one, but the legal activation of the decision also might provide a valid chart and it might be put at 0 A.M. on that day or on the next. So far, I have only briefly checked the chart for the 2:30 P.M. time and it seemed less reliable than the Cook and Dominion charts. Much more work would obviously be needed to achieve personal confidence in any of the charts and I also have other dates of important steps which could provide useful charts such the first meeting of both houses of Parliament at noon on May 24, 1854 in Auckland, the former capital before it was moved to Wellington.
I had planned to do this whole issue of Asteroid-World on New Zealand, but since it ended with an odd number of pages, I decided to do one more page of brief notes on charts for a couple of events which occurred while I was in New Zealand.
A train wreck on the Nice-Paris line occurred on October 17, 1991 about 28 miles south of Paris and witnessed by Commuters headed for Paris. 16 people were killed and 62 injured. The asteroid Paris was on the MC within my standard one degree orb. Gallia (France) was in the ninth house sextile Vesta (often associated with health issues) and both were quincunx Saturn in the fourth house—a yod. Hestia, the Greek version of Vesta, was conjunct its namesake and shared the quincunx to Saturn. Dolores (sorrow) was on the IC square Panacea (healing or the need for it). Photographica was on the Ascendant (a photograph of the wreck reached a New Zealand paper). Beer on the Ascendant and Bacchus and Circe on the East Point made me wonder whether alcohol or some other substance abuse might have been a contributing cause of the wreck. Of course, there were also “normal” planetary aspects including Mars in the first house in 0 Scorpio square the fourth house Saturn in 0 Aquarius.
The Killeen, TX cafe shooting also reached the New Zealand papers. On October 16, 1991 at 12:40 or 12:41 P.M., George Hennard killed 23 people and wounded over 20. Before calculating the chart, I told the local astrologers that Winchester would be involved. It was on the Sun that day, and since Hennard’s birthday was one day earlier, his natal Sun was also conjuncted by transiting Winchester. Other relevant asteroids for the killing included Hephaistos (who made the weapons for the gods) conjunct Guernica (prototype for the killing of innocent bystanders) in the fourth house with both of them opposite Pallas in Scorpio and square Isolda and Niobe in Leo just inside the eighth house. Isolda is associated with death because of frustrated love while Niobe had all her children killed by vindictive gods. The limited news reports that I saw suggested that Hennard was angry because of the breakup of his parents’ marriage.
I did a speculative chart for Hennard who was born in Belton, TX on October 15, 1956, setting it at 7:42 A.M. That birth time puts Hennard’s P Moon in his eighth house square natal Mars in Pisces in his fourth house and opposite P Winchester in 13 Sagittarius with natal Atlantis completing a grand cross at 13 Virgo. My rectified P MC is also within the one degree orb of a square to P Moon while the P Ascendant conjuncts P Saturn and squares the natal Moon in Pisces in the fourth house and L P Ascendant is still within orb of a conjunction to natal Winchester in 3 Sagittarius in the first house. Natal Georgia (named for an English King George) is on the natal Sun conjuncted by P Siva and P Venus and opposed by P Hephaistos. P Georgia opposes natal Hephaistos. To include some of our “normal” factors, P Mercury is on natal Saturn square P Pluto. Natal Guernica is square natal Sun and P Guernica is quincunx Pluto, square Neptune, as well as octile-trioctile the mutable cross listed above. When Hennard did the killing, transiting Mars was on his own natal Neptune square transiting Saturn which was on his P Guernica. Transiting Georgia was on his P Saturn. And much more.
In one more Winchester story, it squared Saturn when a postal worker killed 4 fellow workers in Royal Oak, MI at 8:48 A.M. on November 14, 1991.
And now, a valuable section on New Zealand and associated asteroids provided by a The Mutable Dilemma–Asteroid-World associate. [Not in the web archives.]