The Importance of Beliefs
Lois Rodden’s February 1999 issue of Data News includes the birth certificate data of Robyn Kayne Twitchell, who was born on November 15, 1983 at 17:06 PST in Inglewood, CA. Robyn died on April 8, 1986 of a bowel obstruction. His parents were devout Christian Science practitioners who refused medical assistance when Robyn became violently ill. They prayed and worked with spiritual healing, but Robyn was dead in five days. Two days later, the Twitchells were arraigned on charges of manslaughter. Court battles dragged on into 1992 when they were convicted of involuntary manslaughter, though it was overturned the next year. However, they are now required by law to get medical treatment for their other children.
Robyn’s chart shows major challenges, with the Moon closely opposite Mars, exactly quincunx Pluto, and trine Mercury, while Chiron is closely conjunct the Ascendant, trine Mars, quincunx Pluto, and opposite Mercury. The more factors we find which are close to the same degree in different signs and houses, forming a massive network of aspects, the more intensity is likely to be expressed by the subject. Many close aspects can indicate big talents or big problems or both. Added to the preceding, Saturn squares the MC, which is like Saturn square Saturn. Vesta opposes Neptune, making a T-square to Mars in mutable signs and fixed houses. The Moon completes an “out-of-sign but within orb” grand cross. Jupiter on the south lunar node points to a lesson connected to faith (Jupiter in its own sign) and relationships (the seventh house and the node).
The rising Chiron, which can be expressed as either the Sagittarius or the Pisces side of Jupiter, is added to five factors in Sagittarius to highlight the importance of beliefs and the ethics, values, and goals which are based on them. Keys to parents include Uranus, MC ruler, and Mercury, ruler of the Virgo in the fourth house, and both are in Sagittarius. Repeating the theme, Neptune rules and Jupiter co-rules the Pisces in the tenth house, so their placement in Sagittarius reinforces the indication of religious or idealistic parents. It is only too possible for idealism to get us into trouble if our beliefs and expectations are unrealistic, sometimes simply too high. The Sun, ruling the IC, and Saturn, co-ruling the MC, are also keys to parents. Their placement in Scorpio in the Virgo house connects the parents to strong will, power, and/or health issues.
The most common form of the mutable dilemma involves conflicts between ideals and what is possible in this physical world. The fixed dilemma is shown by the cross in the fixed houses as well as by the Taurus angles and Pluto, Saturn, and Sun in the sign of Scorpio. Ceres in Aquarius produces another T-square with the East Point axis. The fixed sides of life symbolize enduring will. “Clench your muscles and tighten up to resist any pressures. No one is going to make me change!” Of the fixed sides of life, Robyn’s bowel blockage and constipation in general emphasize a Pluto (Scorpio/eighth house) problem. Mixing a fixed emphasis with intense religious beliefs can lead to fanatical extremes. Knowing the brief history of Robyn, I looked for the asteroid Fanatica, and found it in 27 Sagittarius, closely conjunct Neptune! When Robyn died at age two, his progressed (P) eighth house cusp (Placidus) was conjunct Neptune and Fanatica. Philosophia was exactly on the Moon, connected to the network of aspects in 0 to 1 degrees of several signs. The asteroid California in 1 Aquarius in the ninth house was also connected, fitting the non-traditional beliefs associated with the state, though Christian Science began in Massachusetts. Coincidentally (!) the asteroid Massachusetts was in 1 Aries, less than a half degree from Philosophia, to point to the source of the family’s beliefs.
With such an early, tragic death, we will obviously look for the various asteroids of goddesses of death. Unless otherwise noted in cases with overlapping orbs, only one-degree aspects are mentioned. Hela was on the IC, a point of endings like the eighth house cusp. Atropos was just past the IC and the P MC at death opposed P Atropos. Libitina was conjunct Pluto, in a double quincunx (yod) to Moon and Chiron, and P Ascendant at death was quincunx it. Anubis was just past the Descendant, and P Ascendant at death opposed P Anubis, an Egyptian god associated with the underworld. P Mercury at death was octile P Hel in 20 Libra.
Of course, the standard astrological factors were also highlighted. P Moon had entered 0 Taurus to contact the network of aspects in early degrees. It opposed Pluto, was quincunx P Mars and Anubis, octile/trioctile the true lunar nodes, and trioctile Jupiter. P Saturn held its square to the MC. Both parents were certainly involved. P Ceres, another key to mother, was trine Hel. There are always mixed aspects in a chart, including both stress and harmony, so we are always looking for themes, for emphasis. P Sun had moved into a quincunx to Juno, a female Pluto, and an octile to P Venus. P Antivertex was quincunx the Descendant. P Neptune remained square Mars and opposite Vesta. P Jupiter remained on the south lunar node and P East Point maintained a quincunx to the south lunar node. P Pallas squared Hel. P Uranus was less involved, though it had a semisextile to Saturn. The quincunx of 150 degrees is the aspect found most often with separations, including death.
Certainly any astrologer looking at this chart would have suggested that the parents seek expert help for their son. Faith in one’s mind and in a Higher Power can be assets, but we live in a physical world and to handle it we need to draw on all of our resources and knowledge. “Either/or” extremism is less effective, whether the overuse of antibiotics and other drugs at the physical end of the continuum (see News Notes in this issue of The Mutable Dilemma) or the refusal to use them when the mind alone is not enough.
Other types of exclusivism which are often found associated with astrology include its total rejection without testing it, which may be due to materialistic beliefs or to the fact that astrologers disagree over their systems and techniques. Some astrologers cling to a single system (zodiac, houses, a limited number of planets and aspects and orbs, etc.) and deny any validity to other systems, again usually without testing them. I think the cosmic order is so profound that no matter what you look at in the sky, or how you manipulate the factors, as long as you are systematic, you still see the order, but in a slightly different way. We can equate a day for a year, a day for a lunar month, a lunar month for a year, a degree (and many other intervals) for a year, do “returns” for any factor, etc. All the systems seem to “work.” The nodes of all the planets symbolize additional forms of their planets. The midpoints of any two factors and combinations which add two and subtract a third, called “Arabic Parts,” also are meaningful. Periodically, I mention some of these alternate forms of our astrological alphabet.
Robyn had the Arabic Part of Saturn (Ascendant plus Saturn minus Sun) within three minutes of longitude of his East Point, which is an auxiliary Ascendant. The configuration carried the same meaning as having Saturn conjunct the Ascendant, though obviously it is less intense. His Part of Death (Ascendant plus eighth house cusp minus Moon) was in 23 Aquarius, exactly square his Sun at birth. I read the midpoint of Saturn/south lunar node as a key to a major lesson. Robyn’s was in 28 Scorpio 3, opposite the Ascendant within one degree and one minute. His south node of Vesta, a Virgo asteroid for health, was in 28 Sagittarius, and P Neptune had reached a conjunction to it within one degree when he died, while P south Vesta was quincunx the Ascendant and square both Mars and P Mars. The south nodes of both Saturn and Pluto were in 18 Capricorn with south Pluto within one degree of Pallas and both square Hel. P south Pluto had reached the one-degree orb of Pallas. I limit orbs to one degree for planetary nodes, midpoints, Arabic Parts, extra asteroids, etc. The P Part of Death in 28 Capricorn squared the Antivertex. The repeated theme was loud and clear. One of these days, we will use this cosmic gift of knowledge, once we outgrow the fundamentalist religions and materialistic science.