Hermann Goering, Reichsmarshall of Nazi Germany, was reputed to once have said, “Every time I hear someone talking about culture, I want to reach for my Luger.”
Well, I’m starting to feel that way about the Galactic Center…
It all started during awhile back, when I was reading a post to the Astrology Meetup mailing list of which I am a member. A certain correspondent, who shall best remain nameless, was gushing about how notable was the position of the Galactic Center (26 Sagittarius) in certain charts he had observed.
For example, Bill Clinton had Mars trine the GC, which explained his testosterific charisma. Nixon had multiple aspects to the GC, which explained his checkered rise to and fall from power. But what clinched it for me was when he observed that Saddam Hussein had been pulled out of his underground hidey-hole on the very day that transiting Moon formed a perfect trine with the Galactic Center at 26 degrees Sagittarius!
Now it’s just that sort of highly generalized non-critical thinking that arouses my ire, and makes me want to take my friend Uzi out of his cage and go visit said correspondent down at the Galactic Center…
The GC lies at 26 Sagittarius. Considering the major Ptolemaic aspects only, that gives us two perfect trines at 26 Aries and Leo, two sextiles at 26 Libra and Aquarius, squares at 26 Virgo and Pisces, and an opposition at 26 Gemini. That makes, along with the conjunction, a total of eight (8) points of contact.
Allowing the Moon a traditional 7-degree orb on either side of exactitude, that’s 14 degrees of span for each of 8 contact points, which provides a zone of 112 degrees, almost a third of the zodiac, from which the Moon could score a “meaningful” aspect on the GC. In other words, a 31% chance.
And that’s without allowing larger orbs for the Moon, as some are inclined to do. Without invoking minor aspects, which many others are inclined to do. Without using one or more of the other nine planets traditional to western astrology, or the nodes, giving us 12 moving bodies in total. And please don’t mention Chiron and the other asteroids, or I will start another rant.
We can take any point in the zodiac and attribute (hypothetical) meaning to it. We can examine every birth as well as every mundane event in history and, using luminaries, planets and nodes, ALWAYS find some connection via some aspect, major or minor. But single connections are meaningless.
“One swallow doth not a Spring make.” The astrological paraphrase would go something like this: “Don’t get your knickers in a knot just because you see one thing connect with one other thing in the chart.” It happens ALL the time.
My teacher drilled The Rule of Three into me: (1) If you see one thing, it means NOTHING. (2) If you see two things (suggesting the same interpretation), you MIGHT be onto something. (3) If you see it three times, then you have a THESIS worth discussing with your client or audience.
Some astrologers seem to be like small children, who understand little but are attracted to bright shiny objects they’ve never seen before. These are often the first people to embrace without question every new concept that comes down the pike, whether it’s Asteroid 666, a “progressed aspect” derived by dividing your age by the Golden Mean, or the north node of newly-discovered dwarf planet Eris.
Let’s face it, astrology is complicated. It takes a lot of study; it takes a lot of discrimination to filter the signal out of all the noise. But that very complexity behooves us to THINK a little.
If we don’t understand something, we don’t gain greater understanding by adding more complexity via additional celestial bodies and aspects and whatever else will be new and shiny next year. Greater complexity doesn’t lead to clarity, it leads to confusion.
Curiosity is a wonderful and precious thing. Without it we would neither seek nor find new territory, intellectual or otherwise. But we have to be discriminating too. That’s why a study of classical astrology is an antidote for all this foolishness. We could be busy the rest of our lives trying to master the BASICS, but then at least we’d have something to work with.
As a Vedic astrologer who no longer uses Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, I’ve also come full circle to appreciate all over again the classical western astrology that was practiced by Bonatti, Brahe, Lilly, Nostradamus and many others who operated in the pre-1784 era before Herschel with a telescope even discovered Uranus. If they were able to do such fine work with the then-known and visible planets, who cares about the outer planets, never mind the asteroids? It’s one thing to acknowledge their astronomical existence, quite another to force-fit them into the astrological paradigm, as some have done.
As a final parting shot at the Galactic Center, please consider this. It was only five centuries ago that Copernicus dared to say that the Sun, not the Earth, lay at the center of our little “universe”, and only four centuries since Galileo defended him, even though it incurred the unwelcome interest of the Inquisition.
The notion of the Galactic Center is still relatively fresh (circa 1918), and is based upon a science of radio telescopy that is constantly evolving. The GC may be a paradigm subject to change. Do we think anyone has climbed high enough above the “horizon” to see the edges of the Galaxy and determine its center?
What happens when, twenty years from now, the scientific establishment opines that there are actually several galaxies within a larger cosmos, and the Cosmic Center (CC) is located at 26 degrees Aries, exactly where my Sun lies at the MC?
When that day comes, I guess I’ll declare myself Emperor of the Cosmos. And if anyone in the crowd mutters that I’m walking naked among the stars, my friend Uzi and I will pay him a visit.