Hermetic Astrology

2012 and the Cosmic Cross
by Frederick “Rico” Baker, M.A. Archetypal Psychology

Messenger | The Cosmic Cross | The Astrology of this Period | The Mayan Factor
The Jupiter Effect | The Holy Cross | Quantum Astrology | Doing Our Part
Suggested Readings | Related Sites

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Messenger from the Water Gate } scroll up
Reality is seamless, but let’s start this story in the city of the Holy Cross, Santa Cruz, California, where I helped with the construction of a large redwood labyrinth on the newly opened campus of the University of California. This project and related studies led to a pilgrimage of archetypal dimensions exploring international power spots such as Stonehenge, the Parthenon, and eventually of course to Knossos, Crete, where the myth of the Minotaur and Labyrinth arose. (This journey is a grand adventure story in itself, but for now we mention it only to help set the stage).

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Figure intro a, icomet kohoutek

It is 1973 and with the Comet Kohoutek blazing overhead, the 2nd mid-east war prevents my passage by ship from Crete toAlexandria, so I return instead to the tiny Spanish island of Formenterra where a friend had advised me to go in search of a great French astrologer. The morning of my 30th birthday, October 30th, 1973, I was walking along the beach and of course, who do I meet? The same French astrologer . . . who invited me to stay in a nearby cottage, where while studying and meditating, a mystical experience tuned me into the “music of the spheres,” and a new heightened level of intuition.

My astrological studies in Formenterra led me to investigate the path of the comet. (Figure Intro. a,i) Coming close to perihelion and perigee around Christmas 1973, the chart

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Figure intro a, iicomet kohoutek chart



(Figure Intro. a,ii) gave me several clues to consider. Christmas eve saw a solar eclipse at 2 degrees of Capricorn opposite Saturn retro at 1 degree Cancer. The North node was right on the degree of the galactic center. With Pluto at the beginning of Libra and Chiron in Aries, a Grand Cardinal Cross was formed. Not surprisingly these were extremely eventful times with major wars and the impeachment of Capricorn President Nixon).




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Figure 22Jupiter


I have often envisioned comets as cosmic messengers similar to the torchbearer announcing the opening of the Olympics. Besides correlating with great changes, they seem to presage important events. To my mind the comet Kohoutek seemed to be pointing forward to the upcoming great Capricorn/Cancer alignment of winter 1989-90. (Figure 22). With a new moon in Capricorn and all the planets opposing Jupiter retro in Cancer, it was certainly the alignment of the century. (And did indeed turn out to be a very eventful time period as we will see below).



The Cosmic Cross } scroll up
More recently an astronomer friend asked me about the astrology of 2012 and upon initial investigation I did not find much of great interest, but did notice how the period leading up to 2012 is very rich with interesting aspects, especially involving grand squares to the cardinal signs. Examining this period more deeply, however, connections also became clear to the earlier investigations of comet Kohoutek, the 1989-90 alignment and the 2012 period via the symbol of the cross.

There is speculation that the ancient Mayan astronomers chose this time period around 2012 to end their calendar because it coincides with the alignment of our December solstice with the galactic center. This rare alignment which occurs once each roughly 26,000 year cycle is related to the precession of the solstice and equinox points due to the slow wobble of the earth’s axis. (Figures 2-8 demonstrate the relationship drawn between the symbol of the cross and the four cardinal and fixed signs of the zodiac.)

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Figures 2-5a

figures 2-5a

It is clear that many ancient cultures knew of this great cycle and gave very high importance to it. Just what we can expect from this era has led to much speculation, but the religious and philosophical symbolism point to major transformation in consciousness and perhaps large earth shifts. Some of the images related to the cosmic cross suggest that important alignments to the galactic center involve receiving informational energy pulses or vibrations.

Although there is rich symbolism and thus many possible interpretations to be found in all the signs of the zodiac, the glyphs for the 4 cardinal signs suggest a link between the galactic center and the great cross of the equinoxes and solstices:

Aries – Ram’s horns. Note that the ram’s cosmically spiral horn is blown as a spiritual musical instrument. It is known that the galactic center sends out extremely powerful (Aries-like) bursts of energy. It is quite possible that these highly energetic vibrations are musically rich with in-form-ation.

Cancer – The crab’s pinchers. Like the number 69 laying on its side, the glyph can be viewed as a spiral or two. Cancer ruling the breasts and hence milk (gala) brings to mind the Milky Way and the galactic center. It is the sign also associated with the stomach and nurturance, as the galactic center can be seen as electromagnetically feeding Her stars and planets. Various Great Mother Goddesses have been associated with the milky way galaxy envisioned as stars spilling out of Her cosmic breasts.

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Figures 5b-8

Figures 5b-8Libra – Balances. The glyph is no doubt meant to represent the balance of day and night at the equinox but also looks like a spiral galaxy viewed from the side with its central bulge.

Capricorn – The mountain goat with fish tail. The goat horn is another musical instrument, accenting vibrating sound waves from the great heavenly sea. (The heavens are often viewed as oceanic, hence fish tail). The fish tail further suggests the sea serpent connecting us to the rich symbolism of the snake, which moves wave-like and river-like and conjures up an image of the spiraling twin snakes of the DNA – serpentine molecule of our inner galaxy. Capricorn being related to the Cornucopia, the corn or horn of plenty, conveys images of the pouring out of great abundance, and like with Cancer, the Great Mother’s blessed bounty.

Even if the relationship of the glyphs with the galactic center is overstated, there is no doubt that the four cardinal signs are loaded with meaning, and associated as they are in tropical astrology with the fourfold mandala of the solstices and equinoxes, do certainly resonate with this universal symbol of the Holy Cross.

It should be noted in more than passing that the super-galactic center of our local group of galaxies is located near the beginning of the constellation of Virgo, therefore presently near zero degrees of the tropical sign of Libra and thus 90 degrees to the galactic center, which as we mentioned before is presently near zero degrees of Capricorn. This means that whatever effect of this fantastically massive and energetically powerful array at the super-galactic center, it is also aligned with the cosmic cross, adding to the list of celestial phenomena that portend astrological intensity.

The Astrology of this period } scroll up
I eventually returned to my astronomer friend’s question about the astrology of December 21st, 2012 with the knowledge of the cosmic cross, and was able to see that the chart is indeed quite impressive and can perhaps even be seen as resolving many of the difficult arrangements leading up to it.

figure 1a


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Figure 1a

(Figure #1) The chart is very symmetrical with the two heavies, Saturn and Pluto, in an exact yod aspect (also called a “finger of god”, pointing) to Jupiter. With Venus opposite and as the head of the astrological figure, we can view her lovely face here or perhaps as reflected in her famous mirror.








figure 1b

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Figure 1b

On the other, more problematic, side of the ledger, a long lasting square between Pluto and Uranus is still active and Neptune has entered its home sign of Pisces, widely square to Jupiter. Perhaps it is fortunate, however, that beneficent Jupiter is the planetary divinity highly emphasized in this formation and also sensitized by the eclipses earlier in the year. Jupiter being the planet of the Great Guru is also related (as we will see below) to the galactic center.
It is tempting to look at this end date of the Mayan calendar through its more beautiful aspects and envision the widespread birth of Christ Consciousness – the rainbow at the end of the storm, Christmas lights at midwinter. However, the astrological highlight of the period between now and 2013 is no doubt the many variations on the theme of grand square or tee-square involving the intense planetary actors, Pluto (in Capricorn, at the galactic center), Saturn entering Libra, and Uranus entering Aries, plus other planets transiting early Cancer (including the Moon’s south node and Mars). The chart for July 31st, 2010, a very impressive tee-square (or grand square if you count the south node), highlights the ongoing tee-square, with Jupiter, Mars and the Moon thrown into the mix. The opposition between the largest planets, Jupiter, Saturn and with Uranus also here could certainly have tangible effects besides all the considerable subtle ones. (See figure #20).

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Figure 20figure 20


I think it is reasonable to look at the tee-square and grand square as representing the buildup of tension due to opposition and rigidity that then gets released, in this case via the active cardinal signs and these especially potent planetary players. The energy released can be channeled in various ways either for bothersome stress and/or transformation. The metaphor of earthquakes is also suggested, although as we will see in the discussion of the Jupiter Effect below, it may be mitigated by the placement of Jupiter and Saturn square to the earth’s alignment with the galactic center rather than aligned with it.





The Mayan Factor } scroll up
I would like to bring in a brief introduction to the Mayan calendar at this point since it may be helpful in understanding another dimension of the factors affecting this period of time. While astrology deals primarily with the circular realm of eternal reoccurrence there is another vector of history that represents the arrow of evolution or de-evolution (depending on which way you look at it).

The metaphysics of the Mayan calendar represents an approach to timing events, (perhaps not unlike quantum physics and chaos/complexity theory) which offers a possible alternative interpretation of this upcoming period of astrological structure that otherwise looks to be very challenging if not downright difficult.

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Figure 13

figure 13Although it is perhaps not clear exactly what the ancient Maya were wishing to communicate, Calleman’s interpretation, which emphasizes the acceleration of information (or the compression of time periods of change), suggests that they had an understanding of our times as we approach the end point of their calendar. Similar to the way pivotal discoveries in technology such as computers and the internet have radically altered the speed of information exchange, so we can view history as making distinct leaps or jumps.


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Figure 14
figure 14It is this quantum view of calendar time that the Maya appear to be contributing and if Calleman is correct, they have also charted out the twenty-fold acceleration for us. (See figures 13 and 14).

It is probably not a simple coincidence that the Mayan calendar ends at this time when the December equinox is aligning with the galactic center. As we mentioned above, there is evidence that the calendar end around 2012 may be pointing to the larger cosmic cycle related to the precession of the equinoxes, a roughly 26,000 year great cycle. It is quite possible that the Maya wanted to draw our attention to the fact that this grand cycle has reached its equivalent of mid-winter as the solstice point of zero Capricorn aligns with the galactic center. With the cycle at its farthest point away but aligned with this center of our milky way galaxy, we are at a point that, like the winter solstice, is both the darkest time, but at the same time holds the seeds of the return of the light.

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Figure 15
figure 15Some have noted that the Vedic great ages may likewise be related to this cycle. If so, it would be reasonable to assume that we are now at the darkest point of the Kali yuga and just sensing the turn towards more noble ages for the next 13,000 years. It also makes sense that the previous golden age referred to in the Vedas might have taken place about 13,000 years ago. (Cf. figures 15 and 16)

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Figure 16figure 16

The Jupiter Effect } scroll up
There are many forms of speculation as to what this present time period may bring, from pole shift to widespread enlightenment. My own astrological research into earthquakes along the San Andreas fault has led me to agree with John Gribbin’s “Jupiter Effect,” which basically says that major alignments, especially involving the two most massive planets, Jupiter and Saturn, are most involved in the magnitude of force that can produce geological shifts (through a chain of events involving solar activity). Although I agree in principle with Gribbon’s theory, I did not agree with his astrology as, unfortunately or fortunately, he chose a date that did not produce a dramatic demonstration. My choice for a prediction of earth movement was some time around the winter of 1989-90 when what I called the “alignment of the century” occurred along the Capricorn/Cancer solstice axis and was in fact accompanied by the earthquake that pretty much destroyed downtown Santa Cruz (Holy Cross), California!

The Holy Cross } scroll up
I do not think that major planetary alignments are the only cause or are related solely to physical shifts. Indeed this same time period around 1989-90 co-responds with shifts all across the board, including the fall of the Berlin wall. What is most intriguing to me is that a pattern of celestial phenomena, demonstrated by comet Kohoteck, the great alignment of 1989-90, and the grand squares of the period leading to 2012, points towards the cardinal cross, the ancient spiritual symbol found in widespread cultures and related in many ways to Christ, Christmas and the winter solstice. The fact that the much discussed end of the Mayan calendar corresponds with the alignment of this same Capricorn solstice with the galactic center, is amazing, to say the least. Then throw in a few other co-incidences such as the planet Pluto (divinity of the apocalypse) just now at the galactic center, eclipses along this same axis (Adding the strong tidal effect of precisely aligned new and full Moons.

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Figure 17
figure 17


See figure 17 and note the added symbolism of the serpent or dragon as related to the moon’s nodes), Neptune entering its home sign of Pisces (folks born in this era will have experienced every planet transiting its home sign), possible sunspot maximum, and a host of end time predictions, etc., etc., and wow!





Again it is perhaps fortunate that the most massive planets align during this time period square to the solstice/galactic center axis. Although Jupiter recently transited the galactic center in Capricorn, it will enter into the great tee-square conjunct Uranus in Aries to oppose Saturn in Libra, forming the outer arms of the grand cross rather than the “vertical” axis as they were in 1989-90. (See figures 20 and 21).

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Figure 20
figure 20The theory that planetary alignment is a strong shift factor, can be likened to the way that new and full moons contribute to the highest tides, so also the square aspects, although potent astrologically, would be similar to the quarter moons that produce smaller neap tides. In this sense, the “Jupiter Effect” may not be as powerful in this particular opposition with Saturn as it was in 1989-90, although the remainder of the factors certainly imply profound transformation. To say “transformation” is hardly “prediction” given the numerous indicators of massive change well underway as we speak, and with the remainder of the iceberg of environmental, political, social and personal transformation on the horizon.






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Figure 21
figure 21

Quantum Astrology } scroll up
Calleman’s interpretation of the Mayan calendar emphasizes the jumps or acceleration of experience and information. Returning to quantum or complexity theories as they relate to the 2012 phenomenon, lets just say that there are an infinite number of variables that could become the “butterfly effect” to radically alter the linear projections and astrological indicators that look rather bleak or at least very intense. Not the least of these quantum variables is, of course, consciousness; the slightest shift can produce profound changes.
If we think of mid-winter as a metaphor for this time period, putting up our Christmas lights and giving gifts of cheer and compassion can make a big difference in this otherwise dark season. The Christmas or Christ consciousness approach of Love is, no doubt, also appropriate for this larger time period. On the other hand, it is 13,000 years until the equivalent mid-summer yuga, so be prepared to settle in for the long haul. Ha!

It has been noted that times of extreme difficulty call forth outstanding leaders and accomplishments. It appears that great challenges face us at this time and it would be heartening to think that we are situated somewhere near the midpoint of the dark times in the 26,000 year cycle with a promising light now beginning again to grow. The fact that Christmas and other ceremonies of the birth of the light come in the northern hemisphere at the darkest point in the yearly cycle, is indicative of this tendency to feel encouraged by the knowledge that the cycle has reversed even though there are still many cold dark nights until spring and summer.

Another hopeful indication of positive change may be seen by the next Jupiter/Saturn “middle conjunction” of 2020 in Aquarius. Although no sign can be expected to be all positive and Aquarius does have a good bit of darkness behind its bright front, it is a sign that promises some balance to the depths of darkness of the final period of the Piscean age.

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Figure Intro b.
figure intro bFigure Intro. b shows the diagram of the progressing conjunctions and states that ancient Persian astrologers (such as the famous 3 Magi) looked to this period of the middle conjunction when there was a shift between the elements as a time of great portent. (The last Jupiter/Saturn conjunction took place in 2000 in earthy Taurus, in 2020 it will shift into Aquarius and the air element).
It is especially noteworthy that the two giants of our solar system are involved in this mode of reading the cosmic clock. Saturn as old Father Time, also know as Chronos to the ancient Greeks, perhaps gives us the rigid patterns (read pater or father) of cyclical time, while Jupiter as ruler of Sagittarius can represent the arrow of evolution. David Frawley in his book, Astrology of the Seers, presents the idea that Jupiter is the representative in our solar system of the galactic center, building on the observation that the galactic center is located in the constellation of Sagittarius and that the name for the nakshatra or lunar mansion for this degree is called Moola or root. This rings true for me in that I have often wondered why the mythology seems to place Jupiter as king of the gods seemingly above the Sun. It also seems to fit with the fact that in Vedic astrology, Jupiter is given the highest status as the Guru of the Gods.

In any case, it promises to be a very rich experience to watch Jupiter, as representative of the Great Central Gal, cycling through the planets of the cardinal cosmic cross. Starting his grand 12 year round first in conjunction with Pluto at the galactic center in 2007, thence to conjunct Uranus and opposite Mars and Saturn as he enters Aries in 2010, on 12/21/2012 at the end of God’s finger, conjunct Mars and opposite Pluto in Cancer in 2013, and then on to complete his great circuit conjoining Pluto again and Saturn in 2020 in Aquarius.

Doing our part – The Epiphany } scroll up
If in fact the alignment of the Capricorn solstice with the galactic center produces or acts as a conduit for major pulses of energy from this powerful core of our home galaxy where our little planet is rocked in its spiral arms, it can be envisioned as sending us milky (gala-ctic) nourishment for our development, both planetary and individually. No matter how literal the energizing flow, it is still wise to do our part as good recipients. The good news: it is helpful to prepare with body/mind/spirit yoga no matter what happens. Included in this preparation I recommend a daily practice that includes focusing on receiving the loving vibes from Milky Way Central. One of the ways we can visualize the energetic blessing of these times is symbolized in what I like to call the Tantric or Alchemical arrangement.

When the zodiac is shifted so that Capricorn and Aquarius are located at the bottom of the chart, the planetary rulers are in their alchemical arrangement from lead to gold and also correlate to the tantric chakra system. (See figures 23 and 24), the latter is taken from our book, Conscious Conception). The Hermetic principle of “As above, so below” is shown by the stars of the zodiac co-relating with the spiraling energy of the channels and chakras of the subtle body, the alchemical metals, and inward to the spirals of the DNA.

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Figure 23figure 23
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Figure 24
figure 24

Capricorn, ruled by Saturn, which correlates with lead, can represent the downward flow of involution into the density of the earth element and also the turn at the winter solstice towards the light. Aquarius is the next sign that in the northern hemisphere holds the cross quarter first stirrings of spring and has as its ruler the “new” planet Uranus. It is notable that the present opposition of Saturn and Uranus emphasizes this interplay between the two signs of the root chakra. Furthermore, as we noted above, the great conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn are slated to move from the earth triplicity into air signs with the 2020 conjunction in Aquarius.

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Figure Intro b.
figure intro b(See figure intro. b) Following the upward flow of the alchemical arrangement of the zodiac through Pisces, note that the new ruler, Neptune, was discovered next. Spiraling yet further up the cosmic ladder, we come to Pluto as the new ruler of Scorpio, replacing Mars. It is perhaps fitting that Eris, in line to become the next evolutionary planet, is involved mythologically with Venus/Aphrodite and therefore might logically become a candidate for the rulership of Libra or Taurus following the upward spiral. Eris might be seen as the strife that ultimately carries us past the little dramas of the ego and into the heart of Love. (After all, in the Greek myth, Paris did choose Aphrodite’s love gift of Helen over the other options of prowess and power, even though in the myth of Eris’ golden apple, it led to the destruction of Troy).

Whereas the outer circle of the zodiac and its traditional rulers might represent the unchanging patterns of time (and the Ida and Pingala channels of the subtle body), the most recently discovered planets starting with Uranus at the root center can represent a powerful new dimension of the awakening of the quantum kundalini or spiraling serpent energy for awareness. On the level of civilization this appears to coincide with the timing of their discovery and correlate with rapid advances in many fields but especially science and technology (and the acceleration of information as per the Mayan calendar).

On the individual level, this same alchemical astrological arrangement suggests that we take the chakra symbolism as a pointer to practice the path of meditation both as a visualization and moving consciousness up from survival/fear, reproductive/lust and power/domination mentality (chakras 1-3) and into the center of Christ consciousness Love and compassion represented by the heart (chakra #4, with 12 petals) in the middle of the great cross of the subtle and gross bodies (which emphasizes the profound symbolism of the cardinal cross of the zodiac). We can imagine that alignments with the galactic and super-galactic centers can be channeled in through the planets (especially the powerful transformers Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto aligned with the cardinal directions) to our earth, affecting the human body down to the twin snakes of the DNA, thereby activating latent energies and abilities (kundalini).

The human form shown in the alchemical/tantric arrangement of the zodiac also suggests that Capricorn and its ruler Saturn hold the key to the higher octaves of the signs as they shift into the transpersonal and trans-saturnian planets at the darkest midwinter point in the year and deepest descent of consciousness into matter. In alchemical language something similar is expressed by the idea that the key to the alchemical gold is held in the dark prima material. Likewise, Chiron, symbolically represented in its glyph as a key and intermediate between Saturn and Uranus, turns us from Capricorn towards Aquarius and the New Hope for getting off Saturn/Chronos’ wheel of time. The twin snakes of Hermes/Mercurius which form the healing caduceus and the Ida and Pingala of the tantric chakra system lead us messenger-like into the central channel or Sushumna which represents the other dimension, the straight and narrow way to Union with the Ultimate or Liberation.

As a final note; it is often missed that on the 12th (read zodiac) day after Christmas, the 6th of January, (read mid-Capricorn) comes the day of Epiphany, which is associated with the Magi (read astrologers) discovering the Christ child and presenting their gifts including (alchemical) gold. During the symbolically packed time through which we are presently passing circa 2012 and approaching the middle conjunction of 2020, as was true of both Jesus and Muhammad, the Universe, represented by the “superstar” at the center of our galaxy, appears to be offering us the gifts to reveal that Christ Consciousness can be born again in this lowly manger of the third planet from the Sun at this auspicious season.

Thus 12/21/2012 being the December solstice can symbolically be regarded as the darkest night of the darkest year in the 26,000 year cycle. Similarly, as Christ is born in the lowly manger of the darkest times, following the Star of Wonder, the Magi discover the newborn child, an archetype for the rebirth of a bright new light, Christ consciousness, at the sudden revelation – Epiphany!

Joyous Holydays!


Suggested reading } scroll up
Galactic Alignment – John Major Jenkins

The Mayan Calendar and the Transformation of Consciousness – Carl Johan Calleman

The Mayan Code – Barbara Hand Clow

Karma and Chaos – Paul R. Fleischman

Astrology of the Seers – David Frawley

The Healing Sun Code: Signs, Symbols and the Rebirth of 2012 – William Henry

The Cosmic Serpent – Jeremy Narby

A Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe
-- Michael S. Schneider

The Jupiter Effect – John Gribbons

Conscious Conception: Elemental Journey through the Labyrinth of Sexuality – Baker and Baker

The Mountain Astrologer – Various issues including: Dec/Jan 07&08 “The Star of the Magi” Feb/Mar 08 “Pluto in Capricorn”

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