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March, 1998

"Lemuria, Kabbalah, Sirius and Pluto (The Secrets of Honor)"

The December, 1997 issue of The Monthly Aspectarian carried a fascinating and deeply thought provoking item titled "April 23, 1994 - Opening of the Vortex" which was an excerpt from the Lazaris book, The Sirius Connection: A Workbook.

Now at this writing I have not read this workbook. I can only discuss the excerpt here.

My eye first noticed this item while flipping through the issue. I started (as usual) with the end of the article, arrested by the word Lemuria. Lemuria has sf/f connotations for me, and I think past-life connections into initiatory experiences of vital relevance to this life.

In the 1950s when my family first got television, I watched ancient films avidly. There was one, a series or serial, that I barely remember. Perhaps someone out there will give me the proper reference? It was about a fellow called Chandru the Magician, and his "powers" came from Lemuria. That was my first encounter with that word and it changed my life.

I thought it had been made up for that particular show. It was such a powerful word for me, that Chandru and Lemuria are literally all I remember from it. Since then, I have snagged every passing book on Lemuria I have ever seen.

So once again, this single word Lemuria leaps off the page of TMA as if engraved in neon letters. Not being all that stupid, I acceded to the behest of the Divine, and read the article.

Nowadays I know enough astrology to follow Lazaris's reasoning. And by pure chance (very pure, right?) I've spent the last few months puzzling over the concepts within and around the massively complex matter of honor. Upon reading Lazaris's item on Lemuria, Sirius and Pluto, I suddenly understood things in a new light. Now, I'm going to be reaching far and wide and deep to pull together fragments of concepts that have an oblique bearing on the books I'm reviewing this time. If this bores you, just go read the books. You really don't need a conscious understanding of the deeply esoteric underpinnings of what's going on in this world to gain the benefit of the sf/f novel-writers' discourse on honor.

But if magickal theory is your thing, stick with me. This is explosive stuff here. I suddenly think I know why honor has become the issue in 1997-8 among sf/f writers.

Here's the quote from the Lazaris excerpt that blasted this into my awareness: "And on April 23, 1994, the Sirius system, 8.5 light years away, entered its Grand Union — and Pluto moved into exact alignment with it.

Such an astronomical and celestial event had not happened in more than 90,000 years; it could not have happened since then. And it will not happen again for another 90,000 years. The Vortex of the Goddess opened wide and full as it has not done in over 90,000 years."

Okay, the first thing I noticed was the Grand Union — which refers to a configuration between the two stars that compose what we see as Sirius. That is a relationship phenomenon.

The second thing I noticed was the reference to Pluto, and to 1994. Pluto coming inside the orbit of Neptune, moving relatively quickly through our natal charts now, just skimming or strafing us instead of bombarding as it usually does, and coming into closest approach to the Earth is a relationship phenomenon. In this case, it is the relationship between society and the individual getting closer. Pluto - the normally distant and unseen power of Society — is now visible. Power is more immanent than Idealism.

Barely twenty-four hours prior to my eye lighting on this TMA article, I had finally twigged to the core element of honor as delineated in Tarot. And that is a relationship element we will discuss next month with respect to several other novels.

This month we consider how astrology can illuminate the world events indicated by this Pluto-Sirius relationship signature.

So sit back and review in your mind the most prominent events of the early 1990s.

  1. Publishing has dissolved away, or melted down, and is being transformed, regenerated.
  2. The Babyboomers, whose book buying habits created the SF Golden Age we've just finished, started having babies at an unprecedented rate (beginning around 1990), and have stopped buying books. This new generation is being called the Boomer-Echo and hasn't started buying their own books yet. Pluto rules Scorpio, which is about sex and regeneration and immortality.
  3. We had a peculiarly different "recession" which has forced many corporations into bankruptcy (i.e., corporate death) and others into complete restructuring, regenerating themselves along new lines.
  4. The corporate die-off (paralleling the species die-off we're still in the middle of) has affected publishing and the availability of fiction, because the corporate die-off was caused by a powerful change deep down inside the foundations of our entire civilization. (Change, foundation and civilization are Pluto keywords.) That change is the advent of the computer network systems, "information technology" and corporate reliance upon it.
  5. Pluto also rules things like hidden enemies, covert operations, secret agreements, conspiracies and taking money under the table. During the ten years or so that Pluto was in Scorpio (its own sign, where it's powerful) much of this kind of thing went on within government. When Pluto entered Sagittarius (ruled by Jupiter and known for honesty) Pluto did its usual Pluto thing and churned up all this hidden stuff. Thus we have banking systems throughout Asia revealing their secrets. The millenium bug fits into this pattern.

When I had these large-scale trends pegged in my mind, I realized that Lazaris is onto something, and that something is the same something that the authors of this set of novels are onto. And it all has to do with the secrets of honor, the hidden things within that concept.

So I ran not walked to my astrology tools and analyzed what Lazaris had given us, looking for hidden connections not mentioned in the Lazaris excerpt.

Here's what I found. Lazaris said that Pluto was in alignment with Sirius. Sirius, a fixed star, is at 12 degrees Cancer 59 minutes. My natal moon is at 13 degrees Cancer 38 minutes, so I'm very familiar with Sirius. On April 23, 1994, Pluto was Retrograde at 27 degrees Scorpio 21.2 minutes. That's a 135 degree aspect known as the Sesquiquadrate or Sesquisquare. It is a minor aspect, 3/8ths of the circle.

Most astrologers don't consider the sesquiquadrate in transits because it is a grace-note, or just background noise. It doesn't usually produce life-altering, significant events. And in a natal chart, the sesquiquadrate is of significance only in the complete absence of other aspects. The general meaning of this aspect is friction and agitation, and it has only moderate strength relative to other aspects.

In my natal chart, this Pluto transit was in the 4th House. Pluto is in my 12th natally, trine the Sun in the 8th. April of '94 was a busy month for me. The following events are in my diary: my second Daniel R. Kerns title, Border Dispute, was published, but the publisher disallowed my revealing to you that I am Daniel R. Kerns. The tarot book which is now available, Biblical Tarot, Never Cross a Palm With Silver, was rejected by another publisher. (When finally sold, it had burgeoned (Pluto in Sagittarius) into a six book series.) And I was asked by a publisher for a cover quote for a vampire novel which was by a friend of mine who writes Star Trek novels — only the Vampire novel was published under a different byline, and I was disallowed from revealing the connection between these two bylines. During the eight weeks after this "exact alignment" that Lazaris pegs as important, I wrote in a white heat of inspiration the longest novel of my career, the third in an as yet unsold series of sf novels, Boxmaster, Boxmaster's Disgrace, and Boxmaster's Home.

The theme of my life at that point — secrecy. In some cases, being honor-bound to keep a secret, and in others not being able to get the secret out no matter how hard I tried. Now some secrets are out — the Tarot books and my Kerns byline, while others yet remain hidden (the Boxmaster novels), the ST writer's vampire connection. Pluto is still working its way through Sagittarius, revealing secrets.

You can also look up the early 1994 editions of this column to see where my thinking was at the time. March '94s column was "Intimate Action" while April was "In the Footsteps of the Master" and May '94 was about communication, "You Just Don't Understand" which I wrote in mid-March as I did "Gaining Control," the June column. All of these are available on the website.

The connecting link: mastery and power. Pluto is power. In early 1994, I was focused on power as an element in mastery. In 1998 I am focused on power as a component of honor, and honor as a component in mastery. (If the Master Magician has tarnished honor, his/her acts will not channel power.)

Right now I have just finished the tarot volume on the Wands, and am starting the volume on Cups. And I'm involved in a feature film project, and a television miniseries project. I've begun teaching astrology, and am involved in learning astrology on a much deeper level than ever before. (All this in addition to the web-based work I've told you about previously.)

In the tarot books, I delineate the links between tarot and Kabbalah, explicating a great deal of material that could provide entre to the inner mysteries of Kabbalah. Therefore, the secrecy/honor problem has been nagging at me while I write.

There is a wonderful Kabbalah website, where I found (last week) the following cogent explanation of the secrecy requirements imposed on the Kabbalah student:

There are several reasons for keeping the Torah secret:

  1. "There is no necessity."
  2. "It is impossible."
  3. "It is the private secret of the Creator."

There is no single detail in the Kabbalah that is not covered by all of these three prohibitions.

This introduction is followed by an in-depth discussion of each of these three points, and an explanation of why at this time in history this website is here to reveal some of the secrets.

Here's my rationalization for my treading into these dangerous waters. In this life, I have had no Teacher, and have never formally studied Kabbalah, and so I have not been sworn to secrecy. Whatever I am revealing of the true mysteries is sealed by oaths and vows of a prior life that I don't remember. I can only trust that the really important matters will remain sealed and that what I have been permitted to retrieve has been given to me in order that I may reveal it.

An oath of secrecy is a matter of honor. Secrecy is the mechanism whereby we establish a group mind that is capable of raising a cone of power. The revealing of such a secret can threaten a relationship hard-crafted among a number of people. The power to disrupt the group is a power that the initiate has over the others in the group, and over the group. Only honor keeps the initiate from abusing that power. (Power abuse was one of the topics covered in this column throughout that Pluto transit.)

The "group" in question here is our entire civilization — which is basically what Pluto represents. Honor is ordinarily represented by Saturn — but the part of honor represented by Saturn is the part that has to do with how other people see you. Pluto is, I think, the interior part, having to do with how you see yourself in the ultimate privacy of your own subconscious. But maybe it seems that way to me because Scorpio rules my 4th, and Saturn is in my 10th while Pluto is in my 12th.

Initiation into the group mind of our civilization begins with learning to read — with communication and the power that knowledge confers. Reading is fundamental. Reading is the basis of this entire civilization — reading, writing, the Word and its sigil or graphic representation is the foundation of magick. The skill of reading used to be a guarded secret of the masters of magick. The revealing of that secret created this civilization.

The fuel for any magickal operation is emotion, and that emotion is aroused and directed by imagination. Initiation into the Outer Court of our civilization is accomplished via the child's first library book. These are usually stories about talking animals or about children doing things above their age-level (i.e., donning magick personae).

Fiction reading is thus the primary magick ritual practiced by the Outer-Court initiates of our civilization that supports the workings of the masters. But people have stopped buying read-and-toss fiction in printed book form.

What happened? Have people stopped communicating? Have people stopped reading?


Words and all fiction is now, suddenly, regarded as just another form of information. And it is now communicated electronically.

In July of 1995 I put together a number of disparate pieces of data and saw that we had reached an inflection point in the curve that describes the Information Age revolution. Because of the rising need for cardboard in China, the price of newsprint for paperback books rose steeply. In 1997 new capacity came online that leveled off that very steep rise, and the Asian economic woes are slowing the growth of China's demand for cardboard, but — paperback prices continue to rise.

By doing a casual time-audit survey on people who used to buy lots of paperback books, I discovered that this type of person (the book-buyer) has begun spending their reading time online, reading downloaded fiction, newsgroups, listserves, chatgroups, websites, etc. and they confess they just don't read books much anymore.

Now stand back again and look at the broader trends for this decade. The Information Age revolution has put the power to communicate into the hands of the Outer-Court initiate of our civilization's group mind.

Our current civilization was founded on the printing press which put literacy into the hands of the non-initiate, bringing him into the Outer Court; the new civilization is being founded on the Internet, which is putting the power to communicate into the hands of the literate (but so far, not into the hands of the non-literate).

In other words, the Internet represents a magickal initiation into an Inner Court, and only those who have done the Outer Court initiation of literacy are considered candidates.

The Web and the Internet have burgeoned explosively (a Pluto/Mars thing, explosion, and Mars is co-ruler of Scorpio) in the last four or five years. When Pluto entered Sagittarius, you began seeing URLs displayed on TV commercials, magazine ads, everywhere. The Internet secret was revealed.

Commerce and politics suddenly found a means of communication which was outside the control of government. Government's response was, typical of Saturn, to clamp down controls on behavior on the Internet. Thus we had/have controversies over free speech on the Internet and taxing Internet commerce, and encryption (encryption being a Pluto thing).

These changes in our civilization are "subterranean" — they may be ruled by other planets (Uranus and Mercury) but they are occurring in the underworld ruled by Pluto, and erupting or burgeoning into our consciousness at the prompting of Jupiter, the expansion principle which rules Sagittarius.

These changes are all changes that have to do with relationship. People are using the Internet to make new friends, establish groupminds and use power. And all this without regard to national boundaries!

Like those who pioneered the Old West, like the Pilgrims who colonized this continent despite its already being well-populated, the new Net citizens are operating in a "land" where no writ holds sway. They have escaped regulation by government; they have found the freedom to exercise their powers. The only thing that governs their behavior is honor, just as in the Old West.

Knowing all this, when I read the item by Lazaris, it suddenly seemed clear to me that cyberspace is the "Lemuria" he is referring to.

And the reason sf/f writers have focused so much on honor lately is that the sf/f book-buying community was the first to go online and abandon the paperback as the medium of fiction distribution.

Our community is deeply concerned about issues of honor now — because for nearly a hundred years honor has been out of fashion in the U. S. Honor has been something the French fought illegal duels over, not something that corporations paid you a fat bonus for at the end of the year. Honor has been something that made Orientals behave irrationally — or inscrutably — not something practiced by rugged individualists with assertiveness training.

The Babyboomer generation, the Flower Children of the '60s, did not grow up priding themselves on honor. All they wanted was to get free of "The Establishment" — by dropping out. They wanted to "find themselves" — and now they have found each other on the Web, outside the control of The Establishment where honor is the only restriction.

And so those writing novels by and for the Boomer Netizens are writing about honor — trying to find it, imagine it, define it, extol it and romanticize it.

Susan R. Matthews has done a remarkably powerful job of that in An Exchange of Hostages. And there's a sequel that may be available by now. This book was brought to my attention by someone on the Sime~Gen Listserve, and I bought it at where there are a number of comments posted about the book.

The general opinion is that this book is a deeply disturbing one. It deals with a number of the issues of honor, of self-determination, of obligation to family, of obligation to self.

Our hero is a man who has just graduated medical school, deeply, personally dedicated to healing as art — but in deference to family obligation, and personal honor, he accepts training as a torturer in an interstellar society where torture is a legal tool of law-enforcement when done by a medical doctor under court order.

This young man discovers during his training that there is something deep inside him (Pluto — deep inside) that enjoys the power (Pluto - power) in a sexual way (Scorpio). Yet at the same time, there are issues of honor, of truth (Sagittarius - Truth) that can not be denied. And he uncovers the dishonesty (Secrets Revealed — Pluto in Sagittarius) in the training system. This gets him in a lot of trouble with the system — but it's swept under the rug (again Pluto). I can't wait to read the sequel!

Barbara Hambly has given us another Darwath book, Mother of Winter, advancing that saga in present, past and future time. Unlike most series, this one isn't petering out or going downhill. This strong and vital novel is a grand good read, and in addition it is about all kinds of really profound things and could be part of any one of my columns. For this column's subject, it is about birth, life and death (death being a Pluto thing) — it's about the essence of magick, and the responsibility of power. (Responsibility is Saturn-type honor and Power is Pluto-type honor and in this novel they are blended and balanced.) It's all so seamlessly done that you'd probably never notice this is a profound novel. I want a sequel to this one, too.

Third, we have a book by one of my own writing students, Cheryl Wolverton, aptly titled A Matter of Trust. This is her first sale, and she didn't show me this manuscript before she sold it — or I'd have made her rewrite it once more. It's got some subtle technical problems that would be easy to fix, but that most readers of this category would never notice. What recommends it here under this topic is the part that isn't flawed.

This is a Christian Inspirational Romance — a very odd little side-branch of the romance category. Wolverton has chosen to deal with a corporate CEO who has been struck blind, leaving his twin brother, the CFO of the corporation, in charge of the executive office.

Here the issues of honor arise when a nurse falls in love with her patient. The sexual power (Pluto) is thick enough to cut with a knife, while only honor restrains behavior. Up to a point. The big breakthrough for this patient is brought about by e-mail access — restored to the blind by a talking computer.

Wolverton has put her finger directly on the core of the matter I've been discussing here, drawing a word-picture for us with simple, clean, elegant brushstrokes. The Information Age revolution creates communication channels in which relationships flourish, governed only by honor — and corporate America is at the heart of the matter.

Send books for review in this column to: Jacqueline Lichtenberg,POB 290, Monsey, N.Y. 10952.





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Reviewed by Jacqueline Lichtenberg