© by Juan Antonio Revilla, Member of the Centaur Research Project
San José, Costa Rica, October 4, 1999
Astrologically, I think the Centaurs have the quality of being "outside of time", or in other words, more universal --like Neptune and Pluto--, encompassing basic spiritual categories, such as "light and darkness", "life and death", "sin and salvation", "pain and forgiveness", etc. These are all exemplified in the "passion, death, and resurrection" of Christ. This is Neptune/Pluto symbolism, and the centaurs, in my present understanding of them, bring this symbolism to our daily lives, like dards piercing our heart, both in joy as in pain.
Neptune and Pluto are riddles, big question marks, like life and death are. They are transpersonal forces that wash us away, as if knowing nothing about our basic needs and human fragility. This is where Christ appears, standing before us, saying "come, you are my friend". Christ became human, and through this he became an answer, not an intellectual or philosphical, metaphysical, and theological proposition, but a human "Yes, come, my friend". This is what Saint Peter represents, standing in the middle, holding "the keys", like a door.
Probably most of you would accept that this is represented by Pluto and Neptune in more traditional astrology... so maybe what we may have with the centaurs is the "humanization" of this symbolism: they are indicators of our more "normal" deaths and resurrections. Pluto and Neptune are not "normal" in this respect, we always have to "go there" when they are active. With the centaurs, it seems to me that their "middle" light/shadow realm is right here with us, as if they "come to us", very much like the hidden spots or secret passages of our own house.
This ligh and darkness symbolism, which we will see present in Asbolus throughout the material that follows, makes me associate it with John the Evangelist, in the same way that I associate Nessus with Paul and Peter with Pholus.
The centaurs can build bridges in time and space, like plutonian vortices, "tunneling" through our lives with their ascension and descension motion, in contrast with the planets that move horizontally. They show us all the light and darkness together. This is especially true of the "winged centaurs", i.e., those that have a very large eccentricity; and Asbolus, in particular, is more eccentric than Pholus and Nessus, it has "wider" wings.
THE SCARLET LETTER
I have always been fascinated by "The Scarlett Letter", from a 1979 TV series with Meg Foster as Hester Pryne; the series was heavily narrated with long passages from the original book by Hawthorne, and you could feel the spiritual atmosphere that the narration was able to create. It isn't difficult to find there what are stronly centaurean themes, which I usually would associate with Pluto...
Nathaniel Hawthorne was born July 4th, 1804, in Salem (time unknown), and died June 19th, 1864. At Noon GMT, we have:
Sun = 12°12'
Asbolus = 11°40' Cancer
Uranus = 12°11' Libra
Since we are talking of the Sun here, these aspects should be very basic in his spiritual constitution, his vision of life and of himself, the subject-matter of his literary production, etc. Mercury is also involved:
Mercury = 21°
1994TA = 21°17' Gemini
From this, it is certain then that the Centaurs are strong in his life, his thoughts, his words, etc. So there's no place better to study them than his works. This is how the Britannica speaks of him: <<His greater short stories and 'The Scarlett Letter' are marked by a depth of psychological and moral insight seldom equaled and never surpassed by any American writer.>>
This assesment of the work of a man that died in 1864, is impressive indeed. It makes me feel the creative power of a stregthened Sun, here coming as a result of Uranus, and especially of Asbolus, technically speaking.
ancestors had always lived in Salem. The first one, William, was
a magistrate who had sentenced a Quaker woman to public whipping,
and the son, John, was one of the three judges in the famous
witch trials of 1692. Here is a summary, taken from the
Encyclopedia, of "The Scarlett Letter":
"This novel tells the story of two lovers kept apart by the ironies of fate, their own mingled strengths and weaknesses, and the Puritan community's interpretation of moral law, until at last death unites them under a single headstone. The book made him famous and was eventually recognized as one of the greatest of American novels...
"The main character of The Scarlet Letter is Hester Prynne, a young married woman who has borne an illegitimate child while living away from her husband in a village in Puritan New England. The husband, Roger Chillingworth, arrives in New England to find his wife pilloried and made to wear the letter A (meaning adulteress) in scarlet on her dress as punishment for her illicit affair and for her refusal to reveal the name of the child's father. Chillingworth becomes obsessed with finding the identity of his wife's former lover. He learns that Hester's paramour is a saintly young minister, Arthur Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth then proceeds to revenge himself by mentally tormenting the guilt-stricken young man. Hester herself is revealed to be a compassionate and splendidly self-reliant heroine who is never truly repentant for the act of adultery committed with the minister; she feels that their act was consecrated by their deep love for each other. In the end Chillingworth is morally degraded by his monomaniac pursuit of revenge, and Dimmesdale is broken by his own sense of guilt and publicly confesses his adultery before dying in Hester's arms. Only Hester can face the future optimistically, as she plans to ensure the future of her beloved little girl by taking her to Europe."
Here is the action of Asbolus, the ultimate trespasser among the known centaurs... See the words that appear:
young girl... illegitimate child... pilloried... adulteress... punishment... illicit... refusal... obsessed... saintly... revenge... tormenting... guilt... compassionate... self-reliant heroine [conjunct Sun]... never repentant... consecrated... morally degraded... monomaniac... broken... confession... dying in her arms... her beloved little girl...
He has Asbolus in 18°45' Leo -- in exact opposition (1') to his Sun. This makes Asbolus very powerful, the main key to his destiny, his genius, his creativity, his transcendence... Maybe we wouldn't be wrong in describing Jules Verne as a visionary and clairvoyant, a "seer". He is the father of modern science fiction. According to the Britannica, <<he foresaw a number of scientific devices and developments, including the submarine, the aqualung, television, and space travel.>>
Verne *broke through* the cognitive limits of his generation and *foresaw* the future, as if his creativity and visionary capacity had no boundaries. He died when Asbolus was in 21°27' Leo (March 24th, 1905, precession-corrected). In conjunction with its natal place. This is meaningful, and "rounds" his life.
The titles of some of his books are very telling regarding this farthest-reaching (maximum eccentricity) of the Centaurs: "Journey to the Center of The Earth", "From the Earth to The Moon", "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea", "Five Weeks in a Ballon", "The Mysterious Island", "Around The World in Eighty Days", etc.
All of them are related: the farthest you can go, the deepest, the highest, the fastest, the widest, etc.
I don't have Jules Verne's "20 000 Leagues Under the Sea Bottom" to quote from, but I have a cd with a striking composition for organ and soprano by a British named Gavin Bryars, called "The Black River", with a text from Jules Verne's description in that book about journeying over the tenebrous ocean bed. The cd notes remark that <<it entails first and last things, and Bryars is in the mark in pointing out that in this passage Verne's prose, far from descending to the descriptive fact-finding and name-and-number-listing it was accused of, is a very "pure" poetry, awakening awe, if not exactly transcendence. Unsurprisingly, the marvels and mysteries revealed to the encapsulated travellers through the unconscious waters provoke musical techniques...>>
Then, we take this symbolism and apply it to everyday's lives. Not "pretty" or "happy" things, for sure.
The writer Mabel Collins, born Sept 9th, 1851 at 8h40m GMT (according to Alan Leo in "Notable Nativities", who knew her personally), has the Moon in 2°52' Pisces and Asbolus in 4°44'R Pisces. This is a strong doubly applying conjunction!. She was a clairvoyant, theosophist and writer, author of an emotionally appalling little book: "A Light on The Path", which is an occult classic. Here are the first few sentences when you open it:
<<These rules are written for all disciples. Attend you to them: Before the eyes can see they must be incapable of tears. Before the ear can hear it must have lost its sensitiveness. Before the voice can speak in the presence of the Masters it must have lost its power to wound. Before the soul can stand in the presence of the Masters its feet must be washed in the blood of the heart.>>
Mabel Collins' style of writing is passionate and lyrical, very emotional, being part of what Simeon said to Mary in Luke 2,35: "Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed". There is an emphasis on feelings here, apropriate because we are considering an exact conjunction with the Moon.
Does it sound centaurean? Good reference for the centaur that reaches the highest heights and depths. It is Asbolus, the seer, who is said was crucified by Hercules.
Here is the description of a "vision" (Moon) he had of the subject-matter of "The Rite of Spring": <<I. A rocky wasteland where boys and girls divide into groups and perform dances leading to a contest rival tribes and a final orgiastic 'Dance of the Earth'. II. The girls' 'Mystic Circles of the Adolescents' reveal the chosen victim: ritual dances culminate in the 'Sacrificial Dance' and the victim falls dead in the convulsive blaze of a savage climax.>>.
Imagine that you have this conjunction and you have a dream or a vision like this. What is happening inside the psyche that "sees" something like this?
Stravinsky himself wrote about his father: "He had me constantly in terror, and I guess this circumstance profoundly affected my character. He was very impulsive and living with him was very difficult. He let himself be dragged by sudden and unexpected rage without any regard for the place where he was." Stravinsky consistently detested the memories of his childhood; he was a nervous and hypochondriac child, who suffered from a lack of affection and from the predilection his parents openly showed for his older brother. He wrote: "The question of my physical weakness, taken for granted since the first hours after I was born, was strengthened throughout my youth until it became a conditioning way of thinking... when memories of my older brothers come to me, what I remember is their tremendous habit of annoying me."
The only loving tie he had was with her German baby-sitter and with his brother Yuri, who died early: "We found in each other the affection and the understanding denied to us by our parents...". His mother was incapable of showing love, and never left his son in peace while she was alive, going relentlessly after him with her gentle sarcasm, which a biographer calls "well-orchestrated challenges and deliberate cruelty". This same biographer calls her a "mother of ice". The composer writes:
"At night I can sleep only when there is a beam of light entering the room next to mine. I ignore the origin of this need, but it goes back to my earliest childhood... whatever it was, this umbilical chord still allows me, at sixty-eight, to go into the assured and closed world that I knew when I was seven or eight years old."
[NOTE: this is re-translated from the Spanish, "Historia de los Grandes Compositores Clasicos", tomo VIII, Olimpo Ediciones, Ediciones Orbis, S.A., 1994 --no reference to the author]
We could think that they have nothing to do, Mabel Collins' mysticism and Stravinsky's music. But the centaur "rawness" is present in both, as well as the tendency to go the heights and to the limits of expression, breaking barriers and opening doors. Spiritual, redemptive doors to other dimensions of being in Mabel Collins (like in "When The Sun Goes Northward", the most beautiful spiritual book I have ever read), and cultural, artistic doors toward new structures and forms of expression in Stravinsky. In both, Asbolus seems to be related to extremes and intensity. Stravinsky was "l'enfant terrible" of music that liked to shock his public. And Mabel Collins' words are often like dards that pierce through the heart.
Mel Gibson was born January 3rd, 1956, at 4h45m p.m. EST
I don't have the birth time source.
(Note by RvH: The Steinbrecher Data Collection has exactly this datas).
He has :
Sun = 12°30' Capricorn
This describes his character very well. It also describes "Braveheart".
I always thought he was such an Arian type... but now I know the reason
why he is always clashing with everything in his films, always on the rampage.
The opposition with Asbolus is the closest aspect of his Sun. Any planet in opposition with the Sun is very, very strong in a chart. I would say it is the strongest planet in his chart, even without knowing the birth time. Asbolus is the key to his character, dynamically speaking. It fits very well, for example, the description of the way William Wallace died, well recorded by historians and masterfully depicted in the film. Here we see the symbolism of Asbolus, the centaur with highest eccentricity, clashing at right angles with the orbits of the "normal" planets. According to the Britannica, Wallace <<was hanged, disemboweled, beheaded, and quartered>>. In other words, he was "crucified", like the centaur Asbolus was.
There's another beautiful film that he produced, directed, and acted, called "The Man Without a Face", in which he portrays a retired, outcast and facially disfigured teacher falsely accused of sexually abusing a troubled pupil that dies in the car accident where his face was disfigured. He lives a very isolated life trying to avoid contact with people as much as he can, until a fatherless boy with problems at school asks him for tutoring. He is able to bring out the boy's talents and becomes a guiding/father figure for him, but is forced by the local authorities to end the relationship, out of suspicion and prejudice. The boy, however, recalls, the day of graduation from the Academy, how the faceless image of his ideal and inexistent inner father was gone, and instead was his teacher's disfigured but virile and fathering face.
This is well represented by the Sun making the aspects to Asbolus and Chariklo. They are the strongest aspects the Sun makes, therefore they define Mel Gibson's solar character. It is an exercise in astrological thinking and analogical association to see how the symbolism of "Braveheart" and of "The Man Without a Face" can be traced to the same astrological indicators, and it helps us understand the meaning of these still almost unknown centaurs.
Globally, I think Centaurs all refer to crossing through life "on the rim", either trespassing moral barriers or being outsiders, and having to pay the price for this, which is undergoing "your passion", in the way of Christ. In Mel Gibson's case, you can take "The Man Without a Face": the disfiguration, the fear that he awakened in others for his ugliness, the story of death and accusations of sexual abuse behind him, his being ostracized, is Asbolus, whereas Chariklo I associate with his becoming the teacher and the father figure of the boy, but from the perspective of the complete outsider and outcast. It is precisely his condition of outcast that allows him to help the young boy. You can see the dynamics of Asbolus opposing or interfering the conjunction.
Braveheart was also an outsider. He (Wallace) came from overseas where he was educated. He's an orphan. He marries at night and in secret. This marriage is the conjunction with Chariklo... but then you begin to see the action of Asbolus that concludes in his being crucified. All of this is making the Sun strong, very strong, out of sheer conflict. He is a Solar Hero certainly.
DONATIEN DE SADE
The Marquis de Sade was born June 2nd, 1740, and died December 2nd, 1814, at the time of the return of Asbolus:
natal Asbolus = 26°46'
death Asbolus = 29°12' Cancer Rx.
I think it was Andre Barbault from whom I read a long time ago that Sade's main signature could be seen in the following:
natal Venus = 27°04'
natal Mars = 24°27' Aries
natal Saturn = 22°03' Cancer
That is, Venus conjunct Saturn with Mars squaring the midpoint in 24°31' Cancer. Very tight!
And it is illustrative of the role of the Centaurs in astrology seeing how the presence of Asbolus conjunct Venus (orb=0°26') brings the matter to clear focus.
This is the same opposition that was active when the bodies of the "Heaven's Gate" sect were found. It is a "vulture" opposition and is powerful, especially when you consider that Anne's natal Pluto was in 17°11' Cancer!
They never left their hiding place until the Gestapo found them 2 years later. Transiting Asbolus was in exact conjunction with the Sun in August 1942 when the hiding started; it was in conjunction again in June 1943 and the last time in May 1944, so it describes the whole ordeal: Asbolus had put its seed on her...
The Gestapo, guided by Dutch informers, found them August 4th, 1944. That day, at 12h39m GMT, there was a Full Moon in 11°59' Aquarius/Leo, squaring her natal Chiron in 12°25' Taurus... this Chiron full Moon acted as a trigger.
She died of typhus at a concentration camp someday in March 1945, when Asbolus was stationary going direct 1 degree from her natal Sun, getting ready to free her heart and let it fly.
CONCLUSION: SOME TENTATIVE IMAGES OF ASBOLUS
Maybe, from the above material and from some personal experience,
I could derive some words that imaginatively describe the world of Asbolus, like:
The light that shines in the darkness.
The eagle and the serpent.
Sin, punishment, tabu, hiding places.
Fear. the void, the pit...
The sounds of silence.
Other times, other epochs, parallel universes.
Confession, or what is inconfessable.
The bleeding heart.
What devours or swallows...