Spiritual Company Newsletter
By Steffan Vanel • Astrologer • Tarot Reader
Author of: The Astrological Karma of the USA
And: Charles & Diana: The Inside Story:
An Astrological-Karmic View
Now on YouTube: The Astrological Karma of the USA and The New Presidency
New on YouTube!: Bridging Heaven & Earth Show #238
Massachusetts Boy Misses Teddy
I’ve usually been quite proud to say that I grew up in Massachusetts. My personal politics are in the progressive/liberal end of the spectrum and I’ve been happy to note how Massachusetts is generally a quite liberal state. I point out how it has been the one state to vote Democratic in Presidential elections, even when it is the only state to vote Democratic in the Presidential election.
Now Massachusetts has chosen to replace Edward Kennedy’s Senate seat with a Republican who has promised to kill the Healthcare Bill. It verges on Shakespearian tragedy knowing that Kennedy himself was such a prominent advocate for providing public healthcare. Needless to say, it’s a challenge to not be saddened by this.
Senator Christopher Dodd recently said he wouldn’t want to go visit Kennedy’s grave at Arlington National Cemetery right now, as he did on Christmas Eve when the Senate passed its version of the bill, saying “I’m afraid he might pop out at me.”
I have lived a good part of my life in Europe and close to the Canadian Border where universal healthcare is the totally accepted norm. And although people in those nations may not be perfectly happy with their systems, I have never met anyone who would prefer to switch to our system of healthcare. It has been perplexing and frustrating to watch all of the current anger and resentment towards those who are trying to eke through a puny modicum of healthcare reform. And if Massachusetts is so up in arms about it, then what is going to happen in the swing states?
Of course, those who know me know that I tend to come up with my own theories about things. The American Sagittarian self-image, providing a penchant for seeing oneself as honest, upright and morally strong, whether true or not, is obviously an on-going key factor. Naturally this Sagittarian, morally righteous enthusiasm could serve love and compassion as well. But so often it seems that Americans specifically and politics generally are based on being against something, or bearing anger, resentment and hatred as their motivating passion.
Another Astrological factor which has been being triggered lately is the U.S. Mars/Neptune square in the U.S. chart. The Mars is in Gemini which Hilarion says has a tendency to be mentally or verbally aggressive and combative. The square to Neptune is a potential for confusion and delusion and, my often noted, victim/victimizer program.
I have been reading Eckardt Tolle´s book, ‘A New Earth’ lately, the most amazing transformative book I’ve read in a long time. He does set the bar pretty high, but it is so worth it. I would like to share a passage which is relevant to the present discussion:
Negativity is not intelligent. It is always of the ego. The ego may be clever, but it is not intelligent. Cleverness pursues its own little aims. Intelligence sees the larger whole in which all things are connected. Cleverness is motivated by self-interest, and it is extremely short-sighted. Most politicians and businesspeople are clever. Very few are intelligent. Whatever is attained through cleverness is short-lived and always turns out to be eventually self-defeating. Cleverness divides; intelligence includes.
Shifting from cleverness to intelligence reminds me of the book Ishi: The Last of his Tribe, where Ishi, one of the last ‘uncivilized’ Native Americans, later came to say that he thought the White Man was smart, but not wise.
The Astrological Karma of Edward Kennedy
I had wanted to make some comments about Edward Kennedy’s Astrology Chart in the time following his death. As is often the case, I was quite busy traveling, working. I finally wrote the following when I was in Ballydehob , Ireland in December. It seems somehow more poignant that I would share this now, now that he who really championed the cause of healthcare has been replaced by a man who has promised to kill the first bill to move in baby steps towards healthcare reform.
Missive from Ballydehob:
It has slowly emerged within me, a sense of how the Kennedy family drama, the heroism and the hubris and the cruelly fated tragedies, have a resonance with the Irish penchant for heroism, hubris and unavoidable fated tragedies.
So many great people, with great potential, have to experience their personal failings sabotaging their potential missions and service. For example, without William Jefferson Clinton’s indulgence in Oval Office fellatio we would have just finished 8 years of an Al Gore presidency.
Ted Kennedy was a Pisces, who thought he was a Capricorn, pretended he was a Scorpio and in his childhood had to be a Virgo.
He had a Capricorn Ascendant which gives a self-image that tends to be very serious, but is actually given to someone because in previous lives they have lacked in having enough seriousness. They will therefore, in this life, change from being very serious to being very unserious, needing to find a balance between the two. Most of us who tended to see Ted Kennedy giving his serious public statements weren´t aware of what a jokester we was, as was universally noted by his colleagues.
Although he must have had some transit to his Capricorn Ascendant when he had the following conversation with his father at 14:
You can have a serious life or a nonserious life, Teddy. I´ll still love you whichever choice you make. But if you decide to have a nonserious life, I won´t have much time for you. You make up your mind. There are too many children here who are doing things that are interesting for me to do much with you." I went back to my room with his words replaying in my mind. It didn´t take me long to decide which kind of life I wanted to lead.
His Virgo Moon childhood would bear some criticism, but also his noted capacity to pay attention to all of the little details.
Kennedy’s presented image to the world, however, his Mid-Heaven, was Scorpio, a tendency to present an image which can be moody, broody, and sexual. In addition, however, Ted Kennedy had quite a Scorpio theme in his chart: Moon/Neptune conjunct in the Scorpio 8th House, opposite Mars, Mercury and the Sun, Mars being the ruler of Scorpio.
At the time of the infamous Chappaquiddick incident Saturn was two degrees from an exact opposition to the Scorpio Mid-Heaven, and Neptune was one degree from an exact square to his Mars, which was in Aquarius and in the 2nd House of which factors Hilarion says:
Mars in Aquarius: In the first place, it endows the individual with considerable mental energy, regardless of aspect. In addition, it can lead to a tendency to allow the mind to play excessively with notions of sexuality, sensual fantasies, etc.
Mars in the 2nd House: When Mars is found in the second sector, there is present in the make-up a strongly passionate or physical side to the affections. Partners tend to be viewed as sexual objects first, mates second. The lesson is of course to realize that sexuality is merely the body’s way of expressing love, and that such expression is always incomplete unless it has the underpinning of a strong, committed emotional affection. If necessary, this lesson will be learned through the loss of love partners, and such losses must continue until the individual recognizes that sex by itself is an empty experience. Karmically, this placement suggests a string of previous lives in which others suffered due to the native’s sexual proclivities and the caprice that often comes with dalliance for its own sake.
Whether Ted Kennedy was having an affair with Mary Jo Kopechne, the woman killed in the Chappaquiddick accident, or seriously thinking about it, or just had to karmically deal with the public opinion that he was, I don’t know. It does seem obvious with these Astrological transits in play at that time that he had to deal with this particular part of his curriculum.
Now, I would like to note that Kennedy also had a well-aspected Jupiter in the 7th House of which Hilarion says: When well-aspected in the seventh, Jupiter promises happiness in marriage – what used to be called a “good match”.
It does seem that his second marriage to his wife Vicky was the fulfillment of that part of his Astrological destiny.
In the years immediately following Chappaquiddick, however, Neptune moved into his 11th House of relation to society, community, the larger collective, squaring his Mercury, his Sun, his Moon and his Neptune . A long period of major Neptunian vulnerability and a test of faith.
Neptune rules Pisces and Edward Kennedy’s Sun in Pisces is who he really was. Your Sun sign always represents your true soul essence. Hilarion has stated that many people’s challenge is to get back in touch with their Sun Sign with the observation that other factors in the chart can obscure it.
Hilarion does give a rather heavy pronouncement regarding people born under the sign of Pisces. He says that someone who is Pisces is someone who, in some previous lifetime, went through an experience of emotional pain that was so great that it led them to take their own life. This gives the Pisces an echoing memory of sadness and sorrow that doesn’t have to relate to anything in this life (although we are usually given additional baggage). This deep unconscious sadness also gives the Pisces the capacity to tune into the sadness and suffering in everyone else. Hilarion's says this heavy previous life experience also gives the Pisces the capacity to make of their heart a well of compassion for the needs of others, and that is their best way out of that sadness.
Pisces have to avoid two temptations. One is to try to escape the harshness of life through Neptunian temptations, such as overindulgence in drugs or alcohol. It is well known that Ted Kennedy did have periods of problems with alcohol.
The other temptation is to try to pretend that they are not a Pisces. It is a hard world to be a Pisces because they are very emotionally sensitive and therefore vulnerable. And this is a hard world to be emotionally vulnerable. And therefore I often note how, with Pisces individuals, if there is anything else they can identify with instead, they will, whether it is their Capricorn rising, or their Scorpio Mid-Heaven, or their Virgo Moon. But those things are not going to be what your real gift and beauty is. And, when Pisces don’t own their own Piscean emotional vulnerability, they will find someone else to live it for them. It is not uncommon for them to be sober but to marry someone else who has problems with alcohol.
Here are some of Kennedy’s comments regarding his first wife Joan:
Joan was private, contemplative, and artistic, while I was public, political, and on the go….To compound our mutual unhappiness, as Joan herself has discussed publicly many times, she suffered with alcoholism.
Clearly Joan sounds more like a Pisces than Kennedy.
Nonetheless, with all of the pain and tragedy in Kennedy’s life, it could well have broken a lesser man, into being a total alcoholic, full of guilt and resentment and a tendency to escape from public vulnerability and scrutiny. It did, perhaps, take him a long time to turn around his self-indulgent and self-destructive tendencies, but I know that if he was alive today, with true Piscean sensitivity and compassion for those who suffer from an unjust system, he would be a rallying force behind our, otherwise, rather wimpy Democratic congressmen, and a voice of conscience in the face of fanatical Republicans in the fight for healthcare reform and I know he is sorely missed.
I personally refer to Pisces as “closet mystics”, until they “come out” as it were. Pisces, as I said earlier, is ruled by Neptune the transcendental mystical planet and the God of the Sea. I would like to end this with a couple of quotes from Edward Kennedy’s memoir: True Compass. I think they illustrate how Kennedy did eventually own and manifest the positive compassionate and even mystical qualities of a Pisces:
ON HIS CORE RELIGIOUS BELIEFS: My own center of belief, as I matured and grew curious about these things, moved toward the great Gospel of Matthew, chapter 25 especially, in which he calls us to care for the least of these among us, and feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, visit the imprisoned. It’s enormously significant to me that the only description in the Bible about salvation is tied to one’s willingness to act on behalf of one’s fellow human beings. The ones who will be deprived of salvation – the sinners – are those who’ve turned away from their fellow man. People responsive to the great human condition, and who’ve tried to alleviate its misery – these will be the ones who join Christ in Paradise. To me, this perspective on my faith has almost literally been a lifesaver. It has given me strength and purpose during the greatest challenges I have faced, the roughest roads I have traveled.
ON BOBBY KENNEDY´S DEATH: The months following Bobby’s death are a blur in my memory. One day I decided that going back to work would help relieve the emptiness. I got into my car and drove toward Capitol Hill. When the Senate Office Building came into view, I began breathing heavily. I turned the car around and went back home. When I finally was able to enter the building, I found that I could not concentrate on my Senate work. I would go and visit my father on the Cape for a couple of days, and then I would go sailing. Sometimes I sailed alone. Sometimes I sailed with a friend. Sometimes I sailed for long distances. Sometimes I sailed to Maine. I surrendered myself to the sea and the wind and the sun and the stars on these voyages. I let my mind drift, when it would, from my sorrows to a semblance of the momentous joy I have always felt at the way a sailboat moves through the water. I love sailing in the day, but there’s something about sailing at night. And on these nights in particular, my grieving was subsumed into a sense of oneness with the sky and the sea. The darkness helped me to feel the movement of the boat, and the movement of the sea, and it helped displace the emptiness inside me with the awareness of direction. An awareness that there is a beginning to the voyage and an end to the voyage, and that this beginning and ending is a part of the natural order of things.
Blessings to you all,