Friday, March 31, 2006

An underused Technique: Diurnals

In December, my father died. As a daughter, my reactions have been varied and at times, surprising even to me. Perhaps in a few months, I will be able to write about that more fully. For now, I can only address externals, like: which financial companies really gave us hassle, and which were easy to deal with? More on that soon!

However, as an astrologer, what do I have to say about this? We all are such ambulance chasers, what can I say about the prediction of death?

First, did I predict it? Yes, and no. In my solar return for 2005, I had the Moon in Scorpio in the 8th house. As a classicist, the 8th house is certainly a primary indicator of death, and probably not that of the Native. The previous year, I had also had the Moon in the 8th house, this time, in Cancer, and sharing the house with Saturn in Venus. What happened? Our beloved head cat died. So death was a high probability item for 2005-2006, but whose death?

The following month, my partner had actually asked a horary question about who would died first, my father, or my stepmother? The chart had some uncertainty about who was which (another topic I hope to return to), but one thing was clear: whoever it was, was likely to die soon.

So the table was definitely set when I got the call that Dad had possibly had a stroke, but certainly was in a bad way health-wise. My brother and I dropped everything and high-tailed it to Arizona, and Dad died a little more than a week later. As soon as we arrived, it was terribly obvious that Dad was in very bad shape, and not likely to recover. His Christian science beliefs were only part of the complex of issues that added up to too little too late.

In that very odd world of hospice, when the mind gets endlessly caught up in trivial details like urine output, the astro-brain engages the “when” question, because there’s really not much else that makes any sense. The macro view of the solar return had performed, but what is the difference between Sunday and Monday?

Let’s be frank. Most astrological techniques are not really developed to work in total real time. When my partner Maggie’s Mom died, transiting Saturn was a day from conjunct Maggie’s natal Moon. Not bad! But still an orb. My solar return showed the year. My lunar return for the month in which he died (a technique I almost never use) had a fixed grand cross straddling my natal angles, with Uranus right on the 8th house cusp and the 8th house ruler Jupiter right on the 4th house cusp opposed by Mars; and the forming Saturn-Neptune opposition on my 1st-7th axis. It is the worst looking lunar return for this year, although upcoming July doesn’t look so great. So this focused November to December as the peak point. But do we always get the juicy transits on the “right” day?

I have found over time that when I am searching for the hit within a week’s time, more often than not, I get the real precision out of diurnals. Diurnals are a modern technique that is calculated by taking the time, time zone, and location of the Native’s birth, and inserting today’s (or whatever desired) date. What you then look for is angle hits: exact to the degree, transiting or natal, because the angles move by about a degree per day.

The hint that it’s time to consider diurnals is something big, with no logical transit to set it off. By logical transit, I mean something bigger than the Moon sextile a totally unrelated planet, i.e., a planet that is neither in a relevant house, nor ruling one.

Since I ended up sing diurnals to rectify my own chart, have also applied them to this kind of quotidial effect, to very interesting results.


Chris LaFond said...

I'm wondering if the fact that diurnals show important hits using the Native's location (and time) of birth are an argument for the use of the natal location in the casting of Solar (and presumably Lunar?) returns. This seems to be an ongoing debate among astrologers, but we can never really settle it empirically, since we can't be in two different places at our Return.

Kim said...

Uh, yeah. I was wondering that too.