This second of two parts continues the exploration of what “context” is and why it is so important in assessing Return and Advanced charts.
Camino Four, posted Feb. 14, 2018. The Advanced chart for June 7, 1994 represents the events of this day for Shirley MacLaine. Early in the day she passed through a very historical area where Charlemagne and those who came after him fought many battles. She was deeply immersed in this history. The blog noted that t/Moon was closing on n/Chiron and opposing Pluto. Chiron symbolizes past life and earlier-in-life hurts that affect present life attitudes. The Moon represents the past, habits, emotions, and carried-forward feelings. Pluto is that which is hidden, buried, and that offering the possibility of resurrection. Combined, these three factors speak to Shirley’s trek through this historical area of the Camino. The t/Moon-square n/Saturn is another pattern recounting one’s struggle with earlier-times in the current life when so much of our life attitude was shaped by parents and home life. During the day she had flash-backs to a time when she was a young girl who healed with herbs all who traveled along this Camino trail. The chart patterns for this day fit very well with the context of Shirley’s life and sensitivities to the spiritual world and past life activities she had engaged in.
Camino Six, posted Feb. 18, 2018, covering Shirley’s activities on June 8, 1994. Her friend Anna, who had joined her at the start of the Camino to help her get started, left her on this day.
She made a phone call to an old friend in London. Paying great attention to the trail markers so that she wouldn’t get lost again, she ran into two Irish girls who recognized her. She had to confront the issue of ‘celebrity’ at a period when she wanted to be very private. The Advanced chart for this date featured t/Mars-n/Mars in the 7th; active interrelationships with others. The t/PoF had passed n/Jupiter and was closing on n/Uranus; a time for social opportunities and understanding them. Again, this chart reflects the quiet day of walking and the meeting of others who responded to her celebrity status by gathering around her.
Camino posting Seven, Feb. 24, 2018 for the date of June 9, 1994 on Shirley’s Camino pilgrimage. The Irish girls chased away a photographer and walked with her. She opened a small bible she carried to a random page. The story of Saul on the road to Damascus told of his encounter with a light and his transformation of his beliefs. She talked with others she met along the Camino trail, asking what they were looking for. Later that day, she took a nap beneath a tree and had a dream about medieval soldiers, meeting an old mentor, John the Scot, being captured and later released, receiving a special gift. It is the horizontal axis of this chart that is active. t/PoF-n/MC is on the Ascendant; this is a “shout out” saying that her daily experience (Asc.) will involve her life goals and status (n/MC) being subjected to ‘chance and change’ (t/PoF). All of this is opposed by the grouping of t/BML-t/Mars-n/Mars-n/Sun-n/PoF on the Desc. A powerful chart worthy of great study as it clearly links Shirley inherent natal drive and identity (Sun, Mars, PoF) with the influence and input of others. In its own way, this chart sets up the opening chapter of Shirley’s Camino pilgrimage in terms of what she learns about herself.
Camino Eight, posted March 1, 2018, covers June 14, 1994 for Shirley MacLaine. On this date she met a couple, Ali and Carlos. The Irish girls were often a day ahead of her, sometimes a day behind as they explored the historical sights of Spain. The press and photographers were by now becoming a nuisance. The Advanced chart still has the n/MC, t/Jupiter-Asc. opposite n/Mars-n/Sun-n/PoF-Desc. The t/PoF has moved ahead to conjoin the n/Asc. This doubling-up of key chart symbols involving the natal and transiting Ascendants clearly points to confrontation. With t/Moon approaching n/Moon-n/Neptune, we can feel the upset and instability that Shirley felt as she sought her privacy on this pilgrimage.
This is a good place to more deeply consider the role of Mars at the Descendant angle. In her book, Aspects In Astrology, Sue Tompkins notes that Mars may be more combative here than when on the Ascendant, seeing others as aggressive. This placement may lead to pushing others into being cooperative. These views are modified when we bring the context of Shirley’s life on the Camino trail and her attitudes and goals for introspection into consideration. Within this context we see Mars relating to meeting others, others being protective of her, others invading her privacy, a feeling of instability in her seeking time to think and appreciate her place. Context really does shape our interpretive approach.
Camino Nine, posted March 3, 2018 covering June 17th, 1994 on the Camino pilgrimage. On this date Shirley became lost twice, losing the poorly marked Camino trail which did not always follow main or secondary roads, often winding over footpaths through the hills. It was on this date that she recounted hearing the newscast about O.J. Simpson fleeing the police in his white Bronco — this is how the date was established for this part of her story. Becoming lost twice left her way behind the day’s schedule. When she finally found a refugio, she ended up sleeping without having supper. It was raining much of that day also. The chart’s contribution to describing this day starts with the doubled up Part of Fortune at the IC and Descendant angles. Chaos and confusion. t/Jupiter is still on the Asc., opposing n/Sun; inconvenience is the word that comes to mind. n/N.Node on the IC. A positive attitude, and a hope for a better tomorrow. ‘Context wise’ this chart is reflective of a quiet, not overly enjoyable day.
Camino Ten, posted March 7, 2018 covers the date of June 22, 1994. This was another key or milestone day for Shirley. Shirley had a t/Moon-opp-n/Sun (7th house) Return on the 19th. (SMfragment 12 shows this horizontal opposition pattern) In the city of Leon, while walking about looking at the historical sights, she discovered an antique jewelry shop which displayed an ancient cross in the window. This was the same cross she had possessed in a past life. This event comes just the t/Moon-opposite-n/Sun Return from the first to the seventh house. While this pattern often, generically, indicates compromise or the lack of it, seeking a solution, multiple viewpoints, or who follows versus who leads, we need to consider the context of Shirley’s situation. She was suddenly confronted with a relic from a past life that she had possessed then. Her confrontation was with herself! Looking at the chart from this perspective, we can better appreciate n/Pluto-MC opposite t/Neptune-t/Uranus-IC square n/Uranus-Desc. A dream or past life situation has been ripped open, exposing a raw and powerful confirmation that brings her understanding of the unique past-life that she had experienced in her dreams. The dream had become reality.
Shirley had high hopes for her Camino journey. Earlier, she had dreamed of the young Moorish girl and of John the Scott, of her capture and release, and the special gift of a cross she had been given to help protect her, then, as she helped to heal others with her herbs. Now, she had been brought face-to-face with the physical proof of that past life in the form of the actual cross. She, of course, immediately purchased it.
Shirley’s third milestone on this Camino pilgrimage came a few days later just before she completed her journey. The chart for July 2, 1994 is found within Camino Eleven, posted on March 13, 2018. This post covers this date and July 3rd, her final day of the Camino trail. The July 2nd chart covers Shirley’s final set of dreams when she lived in Lemuria, a legendary lost land of antiquity. She learned a lot there as well as discovering that she had committed suicide. The earlier mentioned n/Pluto-MC, t/Neptune-t/Uranus-IC and n/MC-t/Jupiter-1st house is still in play in this chart. Joining the action is t/Moon-t/BML conjoining the natal Uranus-Mars-Sun-PoF grouping opposite the t/Jupiter-n/MC pattern. This is a very powerful chart. The patterns have been discussed earlier. The recounted dream, taking up a whole chapter of Shirley’s book, is our ‘context’ for reading this chart.
The chart for July 3, 1994 is also contained within this posting. It is a t/Moon-to-n/Sun Return chart located in the 2nd house of self-esteem. A whole new set of patterns come into play, and Shirley’s recounting strongly confirms this. With the Lemuria dream, Shirley had three dreams and a physical confirmation of those dreams (the cross) which certainly fulfilled her hopes for taking the Camino pilgrimage. In this very different chart, a Return chart, her problems were avoiding the heavy presence of the press. Here, her friends and others all combined to sneak her through the city of Santiago de Compestela. The t/Moon-n/Sun is located at the relocated IC angle with t/Jupiter at the relocated MC angle in the 8th. t/Saturn-Asc. opposite n/Neptune-Desc. tells of the struggle she had that day dealing with her dreams. The n/Saturn is in the relocated 2nd house, which amplifies the 2nd house placement of t/Moon-to-n/Sun. She had to protect her privacy, she did not want her Camino pilgrimage to become a public event — the experience had to be kept o herself. We should take note also of t/PoF conjoining the relocated n/Asc. Life would be very hectic this day as she jumped from back door to car to alley way to church to airport.
In summary, we have seen that each of the major chart patterns works best when we view them from-through the context of what Shirley was encountering. The generic statements for interpretations do not fit well in unusual circumstances. We saw that in many cases in the blogs and in this essay. In Camino Eight, an ‘algebra-like’ formula was presented comparing two conditions.
- A) Planet pattern plus Context yields/equals Interpretation. (This is a chart reading)
- B) Planet pattern plus Interpretation yields/equals Context-Forcast. (This is prediction)
The point of the A and B statements is that there is little difference between interpretation and making a forecast. The process is so intertwined that there is really is no difference. This is what makes the Moon-to-Sun Returns so effective and intriguing. They are simple, accurate, and easy to use.