Whose hands hold: destroying fire, a dagger, initiatory fire, and the key that opens the doors of knowledge or those of the regions of hell. A comparison could be made between this representation of Hecate, the only Greek deity with many arms, and that of Shiva, who is also a lu nar god.
The Lunar Houses near the point of conjunction allow the conjunction of the luminaries to be divided into different parts; the existence of which is not contested by anyone. In a conjunction with the Sun, most astrologers recognize the phases of the heart of the Sun, (which is the true conjunction of the discs), of cazirni (within one degree), and of combustion (which strongly alters the nature of planets in proximity to the Sun). (It is interesting to note that tradition locates combustion at 8° from the Sun, which would coincide exactly with the limits of the Houses of Hecate, in a conjunction of the luminaries). These phases are applied to all the planets and not only to the conjunction of the Sun and the Moon. Clearly a multitude of reasons are responsible for these phases being recognized today, including the intra-Mercurial planet Vulcan, but in the case of conjunction of the luminaries, the role of the Lunar Houses seems indisputable to me. In any case, this conjunction is much more mysterious than all the others.
While it is difficult, if not impossible, to find two divergent opinions on the subject of the conjunction of Sun and Mars, the judgments of astrologers concerning the effect of the conjunction of the luminaries are too imprecise, contradictory, and idiosyncratic. We need only open three or four Astrology texts to see that less space is devoted to this conjunction than to other configurations, although its role logically should be greater than that of any other configuration. Very often it seems that writers try to pass over this question without examining it.
Nevertheless, astrologers in every era were aware of the unfavorable nature of the conjunction- of the luminaries, without daring to define it. For example, G. Muchery says "the conjunction of the luminaries demands prudence in connection with the (solar) House where the conjunction takes place."3 H.J. Gouchon considers this conjunction benefic (probably because he did not have enough time or opportunity to study it); but he adds, "we must be very cautious, however, as regards the Moon because here, especially when there is an eclipse, the vision is generally defective and the health not very good. In a summary statistic we observed that the position of the Moon close to the Sun (up to 20° -25° ) does not seem favorable for longevity . .
In this statistic, which is applied to an area widely exceeding the orbit of the conjunction, H.J. Gouchon ventures unknowingly into the realm of Lunar Astrology (which he does not even mention in his "Dictionary*), and enlarges the orb of the devitalizing influence of the invisible Moon. Astrologers have known since earliest antiquity that the Moon conjoined to the Sun, produces a weak and sickly con-
situation, and that the life is generally short if it is ruler of the Ascendant.
In his article on "Combustion"*, Ed. Symours also observed experimentally that "the conjunction of the luminaries seems unfavorable, especially at short distance" for longevity; that it is clearly dangerous, often encountered in charts of violent death; that it seems to damage the faculties of the man of action; and that it is clearly antipathetic to fame.
I should mention that I possess only one creative chart with Hecate: that of Maurice Ravel, born at Cibourne (Pyrenes) March 7, 1875 at 10 P.M.
It would seem Hecate played a particularly tragic role here. The musician, afflicted with a mysterious brain tumor, was not able to compose during the last years of his life; he died during an operation attempted "to relieve his nervous depression" (at the precise moment when the Moon arrived by symbolic progression at conjunction with Pluto).
Eclipses are merely the accentuation of this fatality of the dark Moon. We know that eclipses of the luminaries occurring in the angles of a chart are dangerous. Every astrologer since Ptolemy has reiterated this rule. It can easily be verified that conjunctions of the luminaries play an analogous, though weaker, role; Gaston Doumerge was obliged to abandon his position of power following the new Moon of November 7, 1934 in opposition to his Ascendant and squaring his natal Sun.
There is a second reason why the nature of the conjunction of the luminaries (or the Houses of Hecate, if the Sun and the Moon are not separated by more than 8° ) has not been clearly defined: the separation of the luminaries by another planet, a Lunar Node, or even the part of Fortune which "breaks" this conjunction, as it were.
This "break" is not peculiar to the conjunction of the luminaries, it can be observed in all triple conjunctions although this feature is not very well known. For example, if the Moon is in 2° Aries, Neptune in 4° and Mars at 6° of the same sign, the influence of the Moon-Mars conjunction will not be strongly felt; although the question of declination and latitude seem to play a large role.
Apropos of this separation of the luminaries by a third point, we should recall the eighteenth aphorism of C. Ptolemy:
"A person with a benefic planet and the two luminaries (Sun and Moon) in the same degree of a sign in the Ascendant of his natal chart, will be overwhelmingly fortunate in everything he undertakes. The same will be true if the two luminaries are in opposition, one in the Ascendant and the other in the Seventh House. But if it is a malefic planet occupying the Ascendant, it promises extreme ill fortune . .
As we begin the demonstration of the malefic nature of the Houses of Hecate, we should state that, although these two Houses embody the idea of a fate that threatens in the moment when it is least expected, there is a great difference between the First House and the Twenty-eighth. The Twenty-eighth House is more unfavorable for health than the First and tradition claims that a child born under that influence will be seriously ill during the first seven years of its life and the illness could be fatal. An illness appearing when the Moon progresses into this House is also very dangerous and requires immediate attention.
In any case, the fatality embodied by Hecate seems to manifest itself with more force when the Moon is on the decrease (in other words, in the Twenty-eighth Lunar House), than when the Moon is on the increase. Numerous reasons and observations lead me to believe that the Twenty-eighth Lunar House is even more unfavorable than the First.
As regards the First Lunar House, we should add that if the Sun is in the Sixth Solar House and the Moon in the Seventh, according to tradition, this threatens asthma, smallpox and diseases of the liver.
If the reverse configuration takes place, i.e., if the Moon progresses into the Twenty-eighth Lunar House, and occupies the Sixth Solar House, while the Sun is in the Seventh, this indicates delay in marriage due to pride, as well as diseases of the eyes7
The totality of the horoscope, the general disposition of the planets, the Solar House, and even the Mansion in which the dark Moon is located determine the area in which the malefic nature of the Houses of Hecate will be manifested. Our selection of horoscopes will give an idea of the variety of these manifestations.
The first chart is that of Landru, a rather famous chart since it has been published several times; it is characteristic of the influence of the dark Moon. There have been frequent attempts to represent the modern Bluebeard as a cold calculating person committing his crimes solely to gain possession of the fortunes of his "fiancees." But Hecate in the Twelfth Solar House, that of the subconscious, indicates an unhealthy, disoriented, abnormal psychism, bordering on sadism.
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