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What do we do when a Return chart has no closely angular planets?
Does this mean that no significant actions or events will take place during the following two weeks?
Given that we are working with 22 natal and transiting planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Chiron, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto) plus 8 natal and transiting angles (Asc., MC,, Desc., IC) plus two Part of Fortunes, we have 32 chart elements among 360 degrees, or about a 1-in-9 chance of having a component at any angle, or 4 in 9 chance of having any one angle occupied. So, it is somewhat ‘rare’ to come across a Return or an Advanced chart where no angle is closely occupied. So, what do we do?
Adolph Tolkachev and John Guilsher had their last meeting together on June 17, 1980 on the streets of Moscow. Tolkachev’s t/Moon-to-n/Sun Return occurred three days earlier on June 14, 1980. We will look at this chart first.
Again, this is a StarFisher astrological chart. The natal planet positions are listed in the far right column, the transiting positions in the right side inner column. As can be seen, there are no closely angular planets to consider as a first step. So, we move on to the second step — planets in angular houses (the 1st, 7th, 10th and 4th. Due to the great angular latitude distortion in this chart we might choose to limit ourselves to those planets within 15 degrees or so of the angles. Still, a tough call.
We might take note of t/Neptune some 16 degrees from the MC, and n/Neptune-n/Venus some 14 degrees from the Desc. angle. Neptune is dissolution, among other meanings. Guilsher would be returning to the U.S. as his tour of duty in Moscow was ending. So Neptune near the career-MC and Neptune near the relations-Desc. angles is appropriate. This is not so strong an indicator that we would likely devine this interpretively ahead of time.
t/Moon-to-n/Sun in the 6th relates to work, making adjustments, considering what others need for support versus what support you have to offer. This Moon-Sun pattern is squared by t/Pluto — as it has been in the prior year or two and will be in the following year or two. t/Mercury is conjunct this Return point; so words and written material will be involved and important in this period. So, that’s it.
On the 17th, Guilsher put on a disguise before leaving the Embassy. He was known to be a CIA agent and the KGB made a point of tailing him closely. By adopting the guise of a low-level worker, he walked right past the KGB, took a circuitous route to his meeting place with Tolkachev. They had not met in almost five months. In that time Tolkachev brought thousands of pages of secret documents that he had photographed at home — he could check out documents at work in the morning, take them home to photograph at noon time during lunch, and return them later in the day to the depository where they were kept. That amounted to 179 rolls of film! Guilsher’s plastic bag was not big enough to hold them all so Tolkachev gave him his brief case.
A new and improved Tropel miniature camera was offered, but Tolkachev prefered to use his Pentax 35. They discussed a monetary offer that was an amount larger than what the U.S. President’s salary was. Tolkachev made to comment about that amount or on the contingency plans to spirit him and his family out of the country. Because this was to be their last meeting, conversation was strained. Neither seemed to have the words that might have been said.
The Advanced chart for the 17th is shown below:
In Advanced charts we check for 1) angular planets, 2) the t/Sun, t/Moon, t/Pof for aspects of significance, 3) doubled-up planets, and 4) the alternate versions (natal for transiting planets, transiting for natal planets) of key factors (Sun, Moon, PoF). Given those guidelines, we might note that t/Neptune is now closer to the MC (but still not significantly so) with t/Sun-t/Venus broadly opposite. A friendly loss of contact, perhaps. t/Moon-t/N.Node square t/PoF; change or upset in associations. And, t/PoF will soon touch the MC; changes affecting his career and mission. This is it. A bit anti-climatic.
Tolkachev’s 6400 pages of documents covered the new Soviet AWACS surveillance plane, modifications to the new (then) MIG-25 fighter plane which was to be equipped with the new look-down-radar to spot cruise missiles.
Tolkachev wanted new and specific plans to be readied to take him and his family out of the Soviet Union. To obtain the information given to the CIA, he had to sign out all of those documents for photographing. If anyone ever looked at the log sheets they would not the large number of signed-out documents and begin to ask questions. Like the request for a suicide pill, this was another back-up plan that he felt he needed. His operation notes, part of the package he gave Guilsher, was somewhat somber. He expected that his time was getting shorter. All of this gave the CIA much to think about while Tolkachev took his family on their summer vacation. How would handle him next? What likely developments might be expected? Could they get him out of the Soviet Union?
Actually, Tolkachev would continue his spying for another five years. My task now is to review some of those key events and determine if they provide the mix of chart elements that help explain the interpretive use of these Returns — OR — whether I should soon wrap up this series and introduce a mix of current news events. I don’t want to bore my followers. YOUR COMMENTS ON THIS ARE WELCOME.
Also, I will repeat an offer made some time ago. If anyone wishes to join me here as a co-moderator or commenter, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The role you could fill is flexible as is the time commitment. I would like to broaden the views that I express to best reflect the general astrological community. We need to remember that this charting method offers a day-by-day view of the flow of life’s events for a person. It is, in that sense, unlike what other uses of astrology are as practiced in the press or on other sites.
I am currently experiencing software issues. It may take a few days to resolve the errors that the software is producing. I will try to work around these issues if I can.
A June 6, 1979 meeting between the Russian Senior Designer in charge of Weapons Systems Development and a CIA Case Officer stationed in Moscow had many beneficial results. The Russian, Tolkachev, didn’t like dead drops, preferring direct meetings where conversation gave him the contact and reassurance that he needed relative to the value of his information and its damage to the USSR. Tolkachev was a man with a mission. He had a twelve year plan, divided into seven phases, in which he would divulge every piece of information that he could access. He wanted very much to damage the USSR as deeply as possible. Tolkachev, through his notes, letters, conversations and stolen documents proved himself to be thorough, meticulous, careful, and discriminating. Everything was clear, specific and important.
Tolkachev’s t/Moon-to-n/Sun Return for May 29th, 1979 occurred 8 days before his next direct meeting with John Guilsher, CIA Case Officer at the Moscow Station. This Return chart is notable for its t/Moon opposing n/Sun-opp-n/Pluto. This Sun-opposite-Pluto natal pattern will be activated in every Return chart, emphasizing and hardening Tolkachev’s ‘born to be a dissident’ self-assessment. This pattern is squared by the t/Part-of-Fortune from the third house. This is like ‘throwing gas upon a fire’, it is explosive.
Let us now look at the Advanced chart for June 6, 1979.
t/Pluto is now exactly on the IC angle, squaring n/Pluto in the 12th house. A hidden form of disruption hopes to generate new pressures upon the USSR by Tolkachev’s actions. n/Moon is in the 7th house, squaring t/Uranus-opposite-t/Mars Another person will be needed for support (Moon). Mars-Uranus points to the quick, short-lived excitement during the few minutes of the meeting. t/Jupiter-Asc. points to the confidence that Tolkachev demonstrates and his sense of fulfilling his intentions.
Let us now look at this day’s meeting from the view of CIA Case Officer John Guilsher and his Return chart of May 29, 1979. We immediate see t/Moon-n/Sun at the MC angle; he will achieve significant success on this day. Like Tolkachev, Guilsher also has an angular t/Pluto, but at the Ascendant and not the IC angle. This t/Pluto squares the t/Moon-n/Sun. What he undertakes has great danger as well as signaling danger for the clandestine meeting.
We have to take note of a supporting pattern; t/Sun square t/Saturn-n/Saturn; Guilsher is having his second Saturn Return. Everyone’s first Saturn Return (age 29-30) calls one to become serious about the business of life, to be responsible for one’s own benefit. The second Saturn Return (age 59-60) calls upon us to demonstrate our life-skills and the fruits of what we have developed to share in the world. Guilsher is being asked to firmly demonstrate his skills, professionalism, and training plan for this clandestine meeting.
What this meeting accomplished became apparent later. In the 15 minutes they spent together, Tolkachev gave 29 pages of handwritten notes and 10 exposed film cassettes. They talked about Tolkachev’s health (leg pains due to thrombophlebitis) which turned out to be a problem of his wife’s, not his. Tolkachev wanted the CIA to provide a better treatment or medicine for his wife than what she was offered by the Russian hospital. Guilsher would inquire about the needed medicine. Meanwhile he passed on a request for specific pieces of information as well as rubles, a Pentax camera and more film. Talks address monetary requirements. Little money could be spent in a country where there was little to buy. A foreign account was discussed.
In the following days, the information from Tolkachev was reviewed by the CIA analysts. George Kalaris, chief of the Soviet Division at the CIA, was one of those who reviewed the material. Tolkachev noted that Russian scientists were just starting to look into how to detect the new U.S. cruise missiles. He was astounded. This meant that the U.S. had many years of superiority where Russia would be vulnerable to cruise missiles. This was an intelligence bonanza. All of the information from Tolkachev was valuable and insightful.
Comments on Pluto at the Angles.
Transits of Pluto to another planet represents an ‘on-going’ process and not a single day of expression. On the other hand, a Return or Advanced chart’s angles do move, often about a degree per day. Therefore Pluto at an angle is quite possibly a one-day or few-days expressional event. This is one of the factors that is different from natal-progressed-transit charting.
We have to take note of a “doubled-up” Pluto where-in both t/Pluto and n/Pluto are at the chart’s angles. If both are at adjacent angles, we have a ‘paran square’ which may or may not be close to a 90-degree aspect. These are more powerful than a regular 90 degree square when only one Pluto may be angular.
When another planet is also involved with a Pluto-in-a-pattern, then that planet may color the expression of Pluto. In Tolkachev’s case, we have a natal Sun opposite a natal Pluto which powers his dissident personality. Every Moon-Sun Return will activate this natal opposition-pattern with the Moon either on the n/Sun’s position or on the n/Pluto’s position.
Following the receipt of the several ‘Grandpa Thank You’ letters with the secret writing on the back and later the notebook with 92 pages of highly classified information, the relationship between the CIA and Tolkachev was off to a fine start. To make things easier in terms of information transfer, Guilsher decided to provide Tolkachev with a miniature camera and film. This would reduce the bulk of material that had to passed through a dead drop or when using a brush-pass transfer.
Again the old construction glove was used for the dead drop. I’ll quote directly from the book, The Billion Dollar Spy, pages 88 and 89. “. . . a miniature camera, known as a Molly, a light meter, film, camera instructions, an operations note, the personal letter from Guilsher, an evaluation note from CIA headquarters, further questions or “requirements” from the CIA, a communications plan, and 5,000 rubles, or half what Tolkachev had requested for his work so far. The evaluation was upbeat but not specific, saying the secret-writing letters had been prepared with ‘fine technique’ and the information ‘very well received.’ The ninety-one page January notebook showed ‘painstaking effort and dedication,’ and the CIA was ‘very impressed,’ but the evaluation stopped short of details , except for one. Tolkachev was given a very specific request to obtain any information he could about a radar known as the RP-23. This would be of ‘utmost’ value.”
John Guilsher put much effort into planning each contact with Tolkachev. Now that this informant had proven to be of supreme value no chance could be taken on compromising the operation. The importance to Guilsher can be seen in his Return and Advanced chart for this period. We will look at the Return chart first. cast for Feb. 9, 1979.
Note the natal Ascendant at the Return chart’s MC angle. Any such angular contact of this nature is extremely important to our interpretation. My book, “Personal Moon-to-Sun Returns 2”, says of this angular match up, “Speaking on behalf of an institution, corporation or for another person. Promoting yourself.” This exactly characterizes Guilsher’s situation as the CIA case officer managing this amazing information transfer.
t/Moon-to-n/Sun takes place in the 5th house of creativity and risk taking. Appropriate. This Moon-Sun position squares t/Pluto and n/Part of Fortune. Tolkachev’s Sun-opposite-Pluto pattern is picked up in this t/Sun-t/Pluto square of Guilsher; the time and situation is consistent with Tolkachev’s life purpose. It is always interesting to look at the t/PoF which here conjoins Guilsher’s n/Jupiter and is opposed by t/Mercury-t/Mars. This can translate to a daring message or contact (Mars-Mercury) involving risk (PoF) and opportunity (Jupiter).
This above paragraph illustrates how my interpretive mind works. It took some time to move from the typical astrological practice of looking at planets, signs, houses, and ruler ships to using simple ‘keyword-like’ approaches involving only planets in aspect or at angles. Yet, this approach is so much simpler and clearer. The chart speaks of the situation. Let us now look at the chart for the date that Guilsher left all of this material at the work-glove dead drop, Feb. 17, 1979.
Note that the natal Ascendant angle is till close to the MC in this chart advanced by some 8 days from the Return chart. The Return MC at 26 degrees Sag has only advanced to 5 degrees Capricorn, keeping the relocated natal Asc. of 1 Capricorn within its bracket of influence. t/Moon now contacts n/PoF and n/Mars; excitement and nervousness on this day of making a critical delivery to Tolkachev.
And, to emphasize the secretive and revolutionary nature of this event we have both n/Pluto and t/Pluto angular. Note that the natal and transiting Plutos are not angular in terms of a 90 degree square — they are ‘angular’ by being close to the IC and Descendant angles. This is called a ‘paren-square.’ It is very powerful. t/PoF squares t/Mercury which opposes t/Saturn-n/Saturn. Yes, Tolkachev is in his second Saturn-Return period. At the first Saturn return, one seems to confront their plan for life — or their lack of such a plan for life. It is time to exercise self-responsibility. At the second Saturn return point one is asked to assess their life’s work. Have they accomplished what they set out to do? How might they consolidate the progress to date? Will they be able to apply their learning to the later phases of life, to cement their relevance?
Tolkachev had long considered himself a natural-born dissident. His words expressed his natal Sun opposite natal Pluto pattern. John Guilsher and the CIA in Moscow were his tools for accomplishing his purpose to hurt the Soviet Union to the greatest extent that was possible for him.