The Erebus Gateway
Hearth of Vesta
Olympian Friends
Forge of Hephestus
Grove of Hecate
The Elysian Gateway
Temple of Zeus
Temple of Juno
The Agora
Tartarus

                                       The 2nd Northern Astrology Conference
                                                             5 - 6 June 2010




















Delegates and speakers enjoyed our first conference in June 2009 so much, that we decided to hold it in the same place again at Skipton Castle.  This astrology conference offers you the opportunity to treat yourself to an enjoyable weekend of both history and astrology inside a castle. Combine your interest in astrology with an adventurous holiday in one of the most diverse parts of the English countryside. All the speakers are of national or international standing and their subjects should interest both novice and advanced practitioners alike. This years speakers are: - Geoffrey Cornelius, Deborah Houlding, Joyce Hoen, Chris Ogilvie, Barbara Giles and Kathy Rowan-Drewitt. Geoffrey and Deborah will be speaking on both days. You can also book for just one day.

We will also be having our Saturday night "Astrologers' Midsummer's Nights Banquet" that was so successful last year. Held in the center of Skipton. See our sister site for details.

Everybody is welcome to attend the banquet regardless if your attending the conference or not but be aware that numbers are limited.

                                                     

You can book for the Northern Astrology Conference at: - monkbridge-press.com
We also sell calendars and astrological items for astrologers.

In the lead up to the  we will be updating some of the pages and adding some new articles. Some of which will be expanded and turned into booklets that will be for sale in our on-line shop.





                       ASTEROIDS, UB313 AND THE POWER OF THE INDIVIDUAL

The discovery of new planets and how and what they are named after, reflects the current state of the world and world opinion, both politically and individually. This can be shown with the French Revolution and the discovery of Uranus, where we moved from being mere subjects (serfs) to people in our own right (citizen/comrade). Similar social changes can be shown for Neptune, Pluto and to some extent Chiron.

With the discovery of the transneptunian objects though we are faced with a dilemma as the scientific world is split over what to classify them as. Planets or Asteroids? In a similar way we can see the same parallels developing here on planet Earth.

I picked up this quote from the BBC regarding whether scientists should classify the major Transneptunian object (TNO) UB313 a planet.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4667100.stm

"It's very difficult; my head scientifically pulls one way and my heart another. I just don't know." 

With the never ending (and for me utterly pointless) debate over Intelligent Design Vs Darwinism, East Vs West, Christianity Vs Islam, Wealth Vs Poverty, Climate change Vs Keeping warm, Etc. This, as the man said, is Head Vs Heart. Logically we now have to make world altering decisions, but deep down we have reservations regarding any decision for fear of what it will mean for the future.

We have ground to a halt as at a personal, political and spiritual level, nobody can make a decision or make a move for fear of the future and I think that that is what this Planet/Asteroid represents. At this moment we (the World) stand at a fork in the road. We have been shown the future and we have to decide just what type of future we want. We the individual (not big business or governments) have to make a conscious decision over our life styles. As the number of asteroids discovered increases, so does the power of the individual increase. Like a swarm of bees or ants, our consciousness, our buying power and our vote can swing world events and the fortunes of business and political empires in a moment as Danish newspapers/products, Israel and Hammas have found to their cost. World power now resides within us, the collective individual, not governments or big business.

The number 313 is symbolic of the individual caught between the three pillars of the temple (Masonic?). Which three shall we choose to embrace? The Good or the Bad? 3+1+3 = 7 the number of the seven deadly sins or seven spiritual qualities.

Maybe this planet should not be named after a classical Greek or Roman Person/God, but after an object.

Tartarus? This is Hell, the bottomless pit that held the Titans and from where things never return.

Agora? The open market square, where the commoners (Plebs) meet to buy, sell, discuss, vote and reach compromises.

The market square/plaza of the Agora is made up on three sides by the Temple, the Treasury, and the Armoury. This triplicate of the gods was represented by Zeus/Jupiter in the centre, Juno/Hera on one side and Pallas/Athena the other. If you care to look at the key astrological words that are associated with these gods you will see a direct correlation with the three pillars of the Masonic rites. On the fourth remaining side of the Agora, opposite the temple of Zeus, stands the Temple of Vesta. In an article I wrote on the 2004 Venus transit, we will have to make the choice between wealth or spiritual heath, and the choices we now make and the name we give UB313 will decide which way we go. Compromise or irreversible descent into the abyss. 

Astrologically Venus promises a life of desire, wealth and luxury away from cares and problems of the world. This is similar to the promise Venus made to Paris for giving her the apple. It all ended in the war between the Greeks and Trojans (West Vs East). The hedonistic alliance between Venus and Jupiter also brought about the end of the mighty Roman Empire as it depleted the known world's resources to feed its insatiable thirst for decadence, power and luxury. Venus has another transit in 2012 on the opposite node, but what answer will we she receive from us on her return?

Two years ago, for good or bad, Bush made a decision to invade Iraq. It would be nice to be able to rewind history and see what the outcome would have been with a different scenario. But we cannot. We have to live with that decision until time and planetary cycles have erased or rectified it. Time, like the pit of Tartarus, is irreversible and no amount of human debate will change it. But like the decision of Paris and Bush, where're dammed if we do and dammed if we don't.

No amount of human debate will change the size, shape or orbit of UB313 and no amount of human debate will change whether there is a God or not. Like the Gods on Mount Olympus, both will silently stare blankly at us from afar.

What will we Astrologers make of UB313? I don't know but I believe its choice of name will be the first clue, followed by what is happening politically around us. Once these pointers have been clarified and history analysed, can we then apply the Mundane terms to a natal astrological horoscope (if that is what we are meant to see in it).

Is there a God? Even after my opposition to the ID debate I say yes. It's just my Head Vs my Heart in conflict with a debate that agues about nothing.

Is there one God? I don't know, but I liken the discovery of the transneptunians with the thought that there is a collective God just like a shoal of fish in the sea acts as a whole, then this is like how we act now (Pisces?). It is all very much like the Hindu religion (a religion that has its roots in ancient Egypt) it is a polymorphic religion, with not just one God but thousands, that act as a unified entity. Like our Solar System, no one object holds sway over another; all require each and every part to function in balance to exist in just the same way our body has to be in equilibrium to stay alive.

                                                       ERIS, revisited

On 12 October 2006, the IAU  (International Astronomical Union) decided to name UB313 Eris after the goddess of discord, and its satellite Dysnomia after her lawless daughter. It was decided that the name fitted with the world political situation in late 2006.Which of course it did.

In mythology Eris was the goddess who was not invited to a particularly prestigious wedding due to her reputation for causing trouble. The story goes that, in revenge she threw a golden apple in amongst the guests with the inscription "For the fairest". Three of the guests claimed it for themselves; Athena, Hera and Venus. In the ensuing cat-fight they asked Hera's husband Jupiter to decide who should be awarded the apple and thus be consider the fairest woman amongst them.

Now as any man knows, the best way out of a situation like this is to either feign death or emigrate; preferably the former. Jupiter realised he was not going to come out of this unscathed, he had to live with his wife and was rather afraid of Athena's vengeance (nobody but nobody ever beat her), but he also had designs on Venus. To get out of this no-win situation, Jupiter decided to let some unsuspecting chump get it in the neck from the inevitable backlash from the two losers. So it was decided that a simple minded shepherd on a remote hillside should make the decision as to who should get the apple. But unfortunately for Jupiter and mankind, the simple minded shepherd was not what he appeared. His name was Paris and he was in fact the son of a king.

What was the son of a king doing looking after sheep on a remote hill side? The reason was that when Paris was born it was foretold that he would bring about the total destruction of his father's kingdom. To prevent this disaster his parents sent Paris to as far an away place as they could find and had him raised as son of a shepherd. Surely they thought, he was somewhere where he could not cause any trouble. But the moral theme in almost all mythological stories is that you can't dodge fate, and that the very act of trying to do so only brings the prophesy into being. And so it was that the bored and lustful young Paris must have thought that all his birthdays had come at once when three very good looking (and very naked) women asked if he would decide who amongst them was the fairest. All he had to do was give a golden apple to one of them. In an attempt to secure success, each goddess made Paris an offer (bribe) in return for the apple; Hera promised him political power and riches, Athena promised wisdom and heroic achievements, but Venus promised Paris the love of the most beautiful woman in the world (presumably after herself). After an in-depth and careful evaluation of all the options Paris gave Venus the apple; it was to be a fateful decision.

Venus kept her promise to Paris but unfortunately the most beautiful woman in the world was already married, a slight technicality that Venus had forgotten to mention. But the promise had been made, and a promise made by a goddess was unbreakable. So when Paris eventually found himself facing Helen, wife of king Menelaus of Sparta, they both fell instantly in love with each other. By now Paris had found out his true identity and returned to his father's court, taking Helen with him. Helen's enraged husband declared war and together with his brother, Armageddon, they launched the famous thousand ships; the Trojan wars had begun. The wars got personal with Venus backing the Greeks and Hera and the indefatigable Athena backing the Trojans.
My Best Friend, Eris.

A number of astrologers had concerns over UB313 being named Iris and attempted put a positive spin on things by claming it was not the same Eris as described in Greek Mythology, but Eris's moon Dysnomia gives the game away and like Paris you can't dodge fate; fate has decided on the name and that's that. However, if you take the view that every thing that happens in life is for a reason, then I believe Eris may eventually be viewed as our best friend. The traditional way that astrologers come to a consensus over interpreting a new object is to trawl through a few hundred charts with the new object in a similar reoccurring position by aspect, house, sign, etc. and come to some conclusions. But as with all transaturnian planets there is the problem of time scales. For Eris the time interval from one orbital position to another is separated by more than one generation and changes to our social life has changed over even short time scales. So trying to come to some consensus on how to interpret Eris in a natal chart is extremely difficult.

We could of course simply ignore any planets beyond Saturn and carry on as if nothing had happened since 1781 (when Uranus was discovered). But once discovered, the outer planets teasingly nudge and prod us into submission. They are there, they exist, as they have for billions of years and they cannot be un-invented or un-discovered. Some astrologers say that we should not use the outer planets for interpretations before we were made aware of them as they would not have any influence. This sort of statement is usually used to fend off our opponents as we can't think of a substantial enough defending argument. To me, this is like saying; we cannot suffer from an illness before the discovery of the virus or germ that caused the illness. My own defending argument is that planetary (and asteroid) orbital cycles are interlinked like gears in a watch. Some times the cycles correspond and at other times they don't; that's why our judgments sometimes work and at other time they fail miserably.

However, let us analyse the mythological story of Eris and try to extract and understand the moral lessons that the ancient writers are trying to convey to us. Firstly, Eris had in fact been invited to the wedding, and she had also brought the apple as a wedding present for the bride; hence the inscription on it. However, when she arrived at the door to be let in, Hermes (Mercury, ruler of doorways) barred her way. Annoyed, angry and upset at not being allowed into the wedding and unable to give her present personally, Eris simply rolled the golden apple under the door hoping it would be given to the bride. The rest, as they say, is history. But why did Hermes stop Eris from joining the other guests? According to mythology it was apparently all part of Jupiter's plan to rid the Earth of the ever expanding number of human inhabitants. Jupiter's master plan was to start a war and in this he was successful as it was he that ordered Hermes to prevent Eris from entry. So from this story it can be seen that the way people are perceived is generally based on what we think about them rather on actual proof. Don't judge others by your own standards, because you might be wrong.

So what can this mythological story tell astrologers about the nature of Eris? Well, firstly intrigue, where things are not what they appear to be at first sight. Secondly, confusion and misinterpretation of peoples' actions. Thirdly, Vanity or more possibly ego. In this case the vanity and ego of even the most sensible and forthright of the goddesses got the better of them and was used against them in a master game of control.