Like most of you, I have watched the unfolding events in New Orleans and the gulf states of the US due to the impact of Hurricane Katrina over the last week with a mixture of keen interest, profound disquiet and yet, a surreal sense of calmness.
Indeed, it is very unsettling to see the suffering (in fact, to have been feeling it for weeks in the lead-up to the event) and devastation splashed across the various media of the world. The mainstream media has done its usual bit to magnify the emotional components of the disaster and to pick on certain aspects of it to the exclusion of a balanced view. But, the most profound part of it for many has been the realization that the scenes depicted on the media are not from some third-world disaster the likes of which we see so often on the evening news. It is on our own/neighbor’s soil. Those are our people. Those are also the same people who make New Orleans what it is in terms of culture and liveliness. They are a part of the soul of New Orleans. Yet, the situation is the same as we would find anywhere else in the world where a similar sort of thing could have happened, regardless of the fact that it has occurred in the richest, most powerful nation on Earth.
In the coming days there will be a great many truths made abundantly clear to the people of my country once the shock has worn off. This is another wake-up call, folks, and if we thought this was a one-off, we had better think again. This is not doom-saying. I simply feel obliged to report what I see in the heavens and sense within. The reasons I say all this will be explained in due course. In the coming days there will be many astrological interpretations of the disaster, and they will more than adequately explain what has happened in western terms. In this letter I will give the astrology from the Chinese perspective. Some of the symbolism is amazing, as we will see. But, to begin with it may be helpful if we take a wider view of the situation, especially from an understanding of the subtle energies involved.
How shall we state this?.............The Fires of the Earth are stirring. What does this mean to us, though? We equate a lot of what is happening with regard to the extreme weather patterns we have noticed in recent years to “global warming”—re: greenhouse gases and the like. But, there is a more powerful “engine” at work here, and it lies deep in the bowels of our planet itself.
The greatest disasters to come will be caused not by humanity’s folly, but by the internal heat of the planet as an entity as it seeks to balance itself and evolve. For those readers who have been receiving these letters for a while, it might be a good idea to read back through the “America After the 2004 Elections” letter to keep the overview in mind of what is to be discussed with regard to the US.
As was stated in that letter, the US is set to undergo some major trials and testing in the coming years—if not in the coming months. The western chart of the US shows this rather clearly. It matters little which chart is used for the interpretation. They all show similar, if not the same, stressors. These trials will be of an initiatory nature and will eventually bring through the Soul of the nation, not that it is not there already. It will, however, be drawn forth in fullness—and soon. I had stated that the major trials for the country will be economic, and what we will see as the economic fallout from the New Orleans disaster will give an indication of how those financial difficulties will come. But, we are talking about Fires here.
I use the upper case “Fire” to indicate a spiritual force. That force will manifest physically as increased heat throughout the planet. It is the latent fire (planetary kundalini) at the base of the spine [base center or chakra, or its correspondence in a planetary sense] that is being stirred into activity as we watch all these world events unfold. There is a great, beneficent Being called the Manu who governs these sorts of activities. We have been told of earth changes to come from many quarters, and they will happen, though the timing and magnitude stated by those sources varies.
We should keep in mind, though, that all of these things are cyclic, that they have been before and will come again, that humanity has survived them all and will do so this time, that they will change things for the better and that they all occur in accordance with great Laws of Nature of which we have little comprehension. All this is due, in the end, to a Divine impulse. Yes, God works in mysterious ways. But, we should also be mindful that anything that happens on a planetary scale also works at the individual scale as well. “As above, so below.” as the saying goes.
We have all heard before that our evolution is being brought forward a notch. The “spiritual bar is being raised” and we have to move with it. It is not simply the stars, the change of the ages or the subjective cycles that are knocking us about. It is the spiritual force of the planet itself and thus of our own higher selves as well, for we are all cells in the body of the planetary Being.
The process we are beginning to go through now has been beautifully described as follows:
“When the kundalini fire at the lowest or root charka begins to ignite, the awakened serpent fire loosens the chakra tension in its atom-center point or hub. With right willing and dedication, the Muladhara [base chakra]….begins to move slowly into clockwise action, setting free the initiatory responses in the heart chakra. Many tears are shed in this time—until the emotional or desire nature is cleansed. Much feeling of mental inadequacy is experienced; one’s sense of over-self-confidence is deflated.
………If [in this time] there be a single samskara seed of hatred, separateness, greed, envy or pride, this must be transposed through death to the little self [note that this does not necessarily—nor often—indicate a physical death], that the heart may freely reside within the resurrecting Will and Power of God.”Kundalini West by Ann Ree Colton pp 119-121
The actions of Mercury and Mars in the horoscope of an individual or nation, especially through solar arc or secondary progressions, will show the stirring of the kundalini Fire. The Sibly chart for the US shows this strongly in the solar arc progressions for the nation in the coming months.
There has been speculation as to whether New Orleans is one of the major energy centers for the US. If so, I would have to say it is the base chakra, the reasons for which would take too long to go into here. The subject of planetary centers is a vast and complex one. But, the tragedy that is New Orleans today will evoke many of the things for the US described in the quote above. There are so many issues to be addressed with this, such as the inadequate response of the governmental agencies that are supposed to be able to handle such things, the lack of resources and people due to the Iraq War and because funds were cut to the very agencies that could have prevented the tragedy, the racial problems still in evidence, the great divide between the wealthy and the poor (which is probably one of the primary reasons why this event has taken on its current proportions), and these just to name a few. All of these issues have been brought out in the foreign media. Since I am not in the US these days I cannot speak for the American media.
People overseas get a different view of the crisis than do the average US citizens. For people who are not familiar with the US, it should be realized that the populations of Louisiana and Mississippi are overwhelmingly black. Most of that populace in the affected areas escaped the storm. Widespread looting and anarchy have been reported. It should also be firmly held in mind that it is always a small percentage of any population that causes trouble in a crisis, whereas the vast majority of people are simply trying to help or get on with their lives. Such is the case in New Orleans. Gas (petrol) prices have been shown to have shot through the roof at certain service stations. There are always people in every culture who try to profiteer from other people’s misery. Theirs will surely be a heavy karma. As always, there are stories of heroism and the indomitable human spirit in the face of adversity that will come out of this event as well. If we look carefully at ourselves, though (and I speak to my fellow citizens here), there is a great deal to take stock of in our collective handling and perceptions of this event. Disillusionment can be a very good thing, however.
All of this brings us back to a more important question, and one which should be very carefully examined in light of what has just happened. What will happen if we have another disaster of this nature—like an earthquake or the like—and it takes place near or in one of the major coastal cities elsewhere in the US? What will that mean for our economy, for us as a nation, for the current conflict in Iraq or for our current way of life, for example?
Things can change dramatically at a moment’s notice, as we have seen. All the warning signs are there. All we have to do is open our eyes and look. There have been many disasters since the Cancer full moons this year—5 major airline crashes and the recent Baghdad tragedy, for examples. The energies had felt quite compacted and focused all through the Saturn/Chiron opposition. It has only been since that has released, though, that these events have occurred. The scenario is much like what we have with migraine headaches, in that the headache only comes after the stress is released, not while it is happening. There are many astrological markers at work that are bringing all these things to pass, and I mention the main ones as I come across them. Incidentally, the Saturn/Chiron opposition that has recently passed will be back with us in the early part of 2006 and stay there until July of that year. There are also two eclipses coming up next month.
There are bright spots in the midst of all that, though. The US chart is particularly stressed this year, however, as is the chart for the president. Need we really say more? Take some time, open our eyes and look around—we all need to take stock of things.
This brings us to the Chinese section of this letter. As was stated earlier, there is some beautiful symbolism in the Chinese chart for this event. Hour Day Month Year Stem 6 Stem 2 Stem 1 Stem 2 Branch: IV Branch: X Branch: IX Combined Combined Combined Combined
The chart I am using is for when Katrina made landfall in New Orleans, Louisiana, just after sunrise on the 29th of August. The 4 Pillars for the event are as follows:
Rabbit of woods
Rains and Springs
Rains and Springs
Rains and Springs
As with any 4 Pillars analysis, the main Pillar to examine is the Day Pillar, for it carries the primary energy of the person or event. [A Pillar is the vertical column below each of the headings.] We find that it is exactly the same as the Year Pillar, so the energies for the year are amplified on such days. I covered those in the Chinese New Year letter for this year. The main points from that New Year letter are as follows:
“1) There will be a host of new administrations installed throughout the world this year, and we will see if they come up to scratch (barnyard puns aside) or if they need to be curtailed or even thrown out. We will also be shown this year if we, as the human race, are up to speed and have learned the lessons presented to us over the past 9 years and what we need additionally to help us all move more securely into the future.
2) This year is a Yin Wood year, marking a time of reflection.
3) Wood is an element associated with growth, starts, bearing, creativity, a more rustic approach to things, environmental issues, agriculture, electrical work and the general care of children. We may see advances in childcare this year and legislation for the protection of children throughout the world. (re:Beslan, which highlighted the dynamic) We should also be mindful of any anger that comes up because it would have deleterious effects upon the associations with wood just mentioned. Anger is the emotion that “harms” Wood.
4) This also marks a year where it will indeed become more necessary for the voice of the people to be heard, and hopefully people will speak up increasingly as the year goes on over all sorts of issues that hold us back from a fuller expression of the higher aspects of our humanity. This particular expression of this Rooster is of interest, though, and it bears some examination. The Rooster Crowing at Noon describes a phase wherein, although things may have been well thought out, they are often not welcomed. Change is not always a friend to people under this expression. It is an admonition to pay attention to correct timing and presentation around ideas.
5) Feminine countries, such as the US, will be strongly affected by this dynamic this year as a result. Russia and Brazil are also feminine countries of note.
6) The combined element is the Water of Rains and Springs. It is an element that generally brings hope and joy, refreshment and new growth, renewed vigor and recovery from debilitating illness. Water is always associated with communication, deep reflection, intuition and telepathy. Herein lies the hope for the best expression of this Pillar.”
Continuing now with the Pillars for this event, there are two things of particular interest to note with regards to all the above Pillars.
Firstly, three of the 4 Combined Elements are “Water of Rains and Springs”. That is how the destruction arose. We will have to see whether or not things are refreshed and healed after the devastation is cleared. Secondly, the Combined Element for the Hour Pillar is “Ramparts Earth”— ‘There are dangers outside of the present course.” Is the descriptor for that Element. The dikes ruptured, which is what allowed all the “Water of Rains and Springs” into New Orleans. The Hour Pillar represents legacies, friends and children. In addition, three of the four Stems are Wood, which is Jupiterian and expansive. This was a very big storm, and it was still gathering force when it made landfall. There is more, but I will leave it at that for the 4 Pillars.
The auguries for the day are interesting, too:
This is a good day for renovations and repairs.It is a bad day for travel and relocating.
Day Indicator: H - Danger
There is nothing else of use on this day except to stay at home and party.
New Orleans will certainly need renovations and repairs—and not just physical repairs, either. And, it certainly was a bad day for travel, although most of the population was already relocated by that time. The Day Indicator simply means that it was a dangerous day all around, and that it was best to stay indoors and not venture out. Sounds like it was good advice for the 29th in New Orleans. It is doubtful many people partied, though.
Perhaps one of the more stunning symbols comes from a little-known, but highly accurate, system of divination called The T’ai Hsüan Ching, which was written about 1000 years ago by Yang Hsiung. I will have more about that system at a later date. It is a system of 81 tetragrams, each of which is assigned a 4 ½ day period, along with 731 commentary statements which cover every day and night of the year. The one for the daylight hours of the 29th in the Northern Hemisphere is as follows:
Closed Mouth: Yin moves to stasis. Yang does not move it. All things are brought to closure.
29 Aug (Daytime): A closed river waters an entire land. (New Orleans is at the mouth of the Mississippi River.)
Lastly, from the planetary positions in the lunar mansions we find that the Moon on that day (prevailing emotional currents, mothers, childbirth, “breaking of the waters” and bodies of water) was in the 22nd Chinese lunar mansion, the auspices of which are as follows:
Mansion 1 of the RedPhoenixPalace. This is the head of the Phoenix. It presides over water, cleaning, ablutions, repairs and refurbishments. Because of the association of cleanliness with Godliness (virtue), this mansion also presides over law and order, moral uprightness and cleansing of moral wrongs. The luck in this mansion is said to vary because of the conflict of the elements involved. This is a good day for taking exams, tending to herbivorous animals and all types of industriousness. It is a very good day for gardening. It is also an auspicious days for widows. It is not a good day for funerals because of the risk of epidemics and sudden death, though, and all projects in progress should be worked on instead of being put aside.
Need we say more? Well, we could actually say quite a bit more, but this will hopefully fill out a bit of the info that the western astrological forums are already putting out about the storm and about the US. A quick search of internet sites will turn up the western reports. Again, we will have to see if New Orleans rises from the ashes, as it were.
My friends, just as with 9/11, I hold out great hope that this will bring us closer together as a nation and that some of the less seemly aspects of our past can be swept away, put in their place and a fresh start can be made. If this disaster does not unite us in common cause for the greater good, what will? I would advise everyone to take stock of their situations and see if they are where they need to be and what they would do if something like this happened in their locale. Above all, though, we need to be like a cork on the waters in these times and ride with things as we need to. That is one of the secrets of going through trials such as this. Certain things in life cannot be avoided. We all have our situations in life to move through and debts to pay. We also all have a great deal we can give to each other in the process. People like my parents who lived through WWII went through much worse devastation than this and managed to thrive and grow, much stronger as the result of their shared experiences. The same should be true now, though this is in no way meant to lessen the impact of what has happened in New Orleans. They would also have a treasure house of wisdom upon which we could all draw at the moment. Now we have a first-hand experience of what the Sumatra Tsunami victims must have felt. In the end, there is no real difference between the peoples of the world. Please give generously, whether of physical help or donations. We all strengthen each other by so doing.
Malvin Artley, Author & Esoteric Astrologer
Malvin Artley has been a practising astrologer for the past 10 years and is an accredited member of the American Federation of Astrologers. He is the author of "Bodies of Fire: An Exploration of the Lesser Chakra System". He has authored numerous articles and was a member of the faculty of the Universtiy of the Seven Rays, a non-profit organization dedicated to the teaching of the Trans-Himalaya tradition as expressed through the books of Alice Bailey, Helena Blavatsky and others. 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 are the human subtle energy system and all the chakras, or energy centres, physics and technology, astronomy and all aspects of Chinese occultism. He now lives in Adelaide, South Australia.
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(all photos used in this article are from clip art, with the exception of Malvin's portrait)