High Court Hearing


Astrology and science were as-one until enlightened inventors made improvements to the telescope.  Science was then able to discount that the constellations of the zodiac were fixed in space as was believed in medieval times; that they are in direct motion within our solar system.  Their orbit around the Sun, in fact, takes about 24,000 of our Earth years. That is about two thousand years per zodiac sign; e.g. Age of Pisces; Age of Aquarius etc.

Have you ever wondered why the zodiac symbol for Pisces (two fishes) is associated with Christianity? There’s your answer.  At the time of Jesus, it was the Age of Pisces.

Astronomy separated from astrology in the name of progress, leaving astrologers to work with the zodiac fixed in time and space; relegated as a medieval art form. As a result, astrology charts are referred to as models of reality, rather than reality itself.

We elect to use the modern astrology method by which we retain the planetary tension in real-time astronomy, however we elect to use the medieval zodiac as our backdrop rather than use mathematical equations which none of us would be able to get our heads around.  This allows us to use the wisdom of the medieval texts of astrology for interpretation.  I like to call it ‘bending the space-time continuum’.  😉

But I digress…  The death of Allison Baden-Clay on the night of 19-20th April 2012 in Brisbane, Australia led the way to the last four years of a focus on domestic violence in the country of my birth.  This case has also0 been what stirred me to start this blog; adding to the voice of the growing ground-swell.

Did you kill your wife Allison?”GBC-ABCimage
“No, I did not.”

“Did you fight with her on the evening of the 19th?”
“No, I did not.”

The trial-by-jury delivered its verdict  on 15 July 2014; a murder conviction of Gerard Baden-Clay; husband of the victim; his wife. Gerard Baden-Clay was sentenced and incarcerated.

On 8th December 2015 the outcome of an appeal by the convict, created a public uproar when the sentence was downgraded to manslaughter.   The people of Brisbane rose up to protest, demanding an appeal by the State Government.

When the result of a trial by a jury is downgraded; treated as ‘legal hubris’ the populace feel the flush of  a slap in the face. Arrogance of the court system is how this is perceived when the outcome is appealed so easily, by anyone with a purse of gold.  

Appeal against downgrading of a murder conviction – the timeline

  • 8th January 2016 – the Queensland Court delayed the re-sentencing of Gerard Baden-Clay until the appeal against the downgrading of his murder conviction goes before the High Court of Australia.
  • 1st February 2016 – State DPP outlined the crown’s summary of argument and why the High Court should return the murder conviction.
  • 22nd February 2016 – lawyers for the defense lodged their High Court submission in the legal wrangle over his downgraded murder conviction.

High Court to hear the case in Brisbane, 10:15am 26th July 2016

 We, as astrologers, cannot bring a woman subjected to the ultimate act of violence back to life, however we can study the heavens; in particular the patterns of tension created at a particular time and in a particular place. Having the freedom of opinion, and without prejudice., we interpret from classic medieval texts.

In horary astrology, the outcome of a court case can be found at the IC; the end of the matter.  The IC is at the bottom of an astrology chart, however in real terms on a map of the territory, this is due North.  i.e. where the ecliptic crosses the meridian in the north of our planet, Earth.

At this time and at this place, (in Brisbane, 10:15am 26th July 2016) – when we turn our eyes heavenwards and due north; the Immum Coeli/IC will be at 10:02ºCapricorn.  None of the planets in our solar system are exact this place in the sky.  Pluto is close at 15:46ºCapricorn, however the asteroid Niobe#71 is exact North, orbiting at 10:31ºCapricorn against the backdrop of the zodiac.

We look to Greco/Roman mythology to guide us to the interpretation of the ancients:

highcourthearingThe tragic tale of Niobe centered on the consequences of hybris, a strange concept in the Greek antiquity, which said that if you act with arrogance towards the Gods, then you will be punished. Insolence is another word that fits with this concept.  Actually Niobe’s story is a classic example of the wrath of gods against human weaknesses and has been beautifully narrated in Homer’s Iliad.

fates-1The other Greco/Roman mythological characters that must be considered in an astrology enquiry of this magnitude, are those of the Fates; Klotho (spinner of the thread of life), Lachesis (she who measures the length of cord; a mortal life) and Atropos (the cutter of the length of cord; death)  See Plato’s Myth of Er for the legend.

We are concerned with Klotho in this enquiry, due to the fact that Australian law courts do not consider the death penalty; it is no longer an option.  The length of the cord-of-life, and when the cord is cut is not within the court’s discretion.

  • On 26th July 2016, Pluto 15:46ºCapricorn meanwhile (Guardian of the Underworld in mythology), mirrors the asteroid Fini#795 (the end) at 15:28ºCancer by opposition.  I would suggest that this aspect represents the High Court finding as being the final power of the earthly realm.  The High Court judges will have the last word on the matter.
  • We note that Pluto-Fini are EXACT square to the horizon; Ascendant-Descendant.  As it begins; so it ends.
  • the asteroid Klotho#97 is orbiting at 16:24ºVirgo against the zodiac PLUS exact the asteroid Gerard#1337 at 16:42ºVirgo.   These two asteroids are in the 12th house (incarceration) at 10:15am; the trial opening.

GBCGerard Baden-Clay and The Fates; in particular, Klotho

While we have the Fates on our agenda, allow me to explain the particular significance of Klotho in the life of Gerard Baden-Clay.   Previously I have rectified his birth time from information on the public record.  I may be out by a few minutes for the angles and house cusps, however this next chart will suffice for the explanation I wish to share.

When we discuss Elements of the zodiac (fire-air-earth-water) together with the trio of Modes (cardinal, fixed, mutable)…  in particular, the element of Earth refers to ‘practical matters’ and Cardinal is as the dictionary defines – ‘of the greatest importance; fundamental’.

  • In his natal horoscope, when Gerard Baden-Clay was born in Bournemouth, England, the asteroid Klotho#97 was orbiting across the background of the zodiac at 13:35ºCapricorn in the 5th house of his horoscope.

Note: This is both Cardinal (C) and the element of Earth (E) – see red arrow underneath the wheel.  So where Klotho is located in his horoscope will be both ‘fundamental’ to his life and will be of a ‘practical nature’.

  • As for the position in the chart, the 5th house represents ethics and morals (among other symbolism).  We can therefore suggest that this child will harbor weaknesses in this area of his life.
  • Then when we note the quindecile aspect to the asteroid Fini at 28:03º Gemini in the 12th house of hidden aspects (or jail for that matter), this will be an obsessional matter in his life.  He may even reach the finality of life while in the ‘big house’.

We cannot put this down to, “Oh it’s the Fates and so there is nothing he could do about it.”  I disagree.  The position and tension in an astrology chart reveals the weaknesses in a character; weaknesses that can be overcome if the character is willing. 

Gerard-Baden Clay, Klotho and the High Court of Australia

Rather than put the two charts side by side, we generate a bi-wheel of the two from the perspective of the court hearing.  The natal chart aligns by the zodiac with the transiting bodies in blue text and the natal chart for Baden-Clay is red.

26July-GBC-astro2We know that transiting asteroids Gerard-Klotho are 16ºVirgo and in the 12th house of the High Court hearing chart (incarcerated/hidden).  So when we have the two charts together, we can see the obsession with the natal chart of Baden-Clay; his model of reality.

  • transiting (purple) Gerard-Klotho quindecile natal Pholus/Lunar North Node (purple) in the 5th house (obsession in relation to love lost) at 29:29ºAquarius/2:54ºPisces.  This man; who has been found responsible for the death of his wife, has more concern for the disconnect from his family (Pholus represents shooting oneself in the foot) rather than taking responsibility for his actions – i.e. killing his wife.   This indicates to me that there has been no successful rehabilitation to date.

Klotho is certainly giving Gerard Baden-Clay a workout. However his inner resolve; natal Pallas 10:08ºPisces, will keep him incarcerated when we note that transiting (turquoise) Neptune is conjunct natal Pallas.   That, together with natal Pluto being quindecile to his Pallas as well, he likely believes that this compulsion (seen as intense resolve) empowers him, when in fact it does just the opposite; dis-empowering his inner strength and creating mental health problems most likely (5th-12th house axis), while he is in jail.

Note also that natal 25:44ºVirgo, Pluto is also in quindecile aspect with natal Chiron (10:04ºAries) further compounding the inner-wound of powerlessness.  This sense of worthlessness lives below the surface of his consciousness; unacknowleged.  Baden-Clay is unlikely to change, sticking to his guns; in denial that the problem even exists.  He can thereby live in a state of delusion, thus maintaining his arrogance.

For other posts in relation to this case see Scout’s Honour   I must admit I have been rather obsessive about this case.  RIP Allison Dickie.


The cookie crumbles

Did you kill your wife Allison?”
GBC-ABCimageNo, I did not.”

“Did you fight with her on the evening of the 19th [of April 2012]?”

“No, I did not.”

A jury of Gerard Baden-Clay’s peers delivered a verdict – guilty of murder.  A year later an appeal to the court downgraded the sentence to manslaughter.  Did this decision, based on the letter of the law, ignore the humanities and social sciences; the origins of the legal system?  Have those within the state system lost touch with reality?

We add to the realm of opinion by creating an astrology enquiry into what appears to be an act of outrage at this time when public opinion is focused on violence against women.  We can’t bring a woman subjected to the ultimate act of violence back to life, however we can study the heavens; in particular the patterns of tension created at a particular time and in a particular place.

We interpret from classic medieval texts, reminding us all that this is a model of reality, not reality itself. i.e. not accepted in any contemporary court of law.

  • Time: 9:30am, 8th December 2015
  • Place: Brisbane, Australia

Heavily weighted to the assertive-defensive hemisphere, this chart lacks consideration for others.  Knowing the delivery from the bench ahead of time, we could have been prepared. However with the gift of hindsight, we continue our interpretation.

R v Baden-Clay QCA15-265 – the downgrading from murder to manslaughter

manslaughter-duoAn Air Grand Trine in this mundane chart for 9:30am (produced from the public arena) reveals the mental energy trapped within the red triangle – asteroid Allison 11:39°Gemini – Black Moon Lilith/mean apogee 11:35°Libra  and asteroid Ceres 11:20°Aquarius.

  • Allison (victim and wife of Gerard Baden-Clay) in the 4th house – is this suggesting that the wife’s place is in the home?
  • BML/mean apogee in the 8th house – death and transformation.
  • Ceres in the 12th house…

 Ceres in Aquarius in criminal profiling equates with avoiding personal contact by evasive action; running away.  So rather than projecting, evaluating, or expressing Aquarian humanities in the astrology houses 1,2, or 3, we can see that it has remained a mental consideration only; in the 12th house of this chart.

In order to process this perceived error in judgement, we look for a release valve for this trapped energy on the opposite side of the chart.  We know that air fans fire, or can extinguish it; that balance is needed.

  • Asteroid Allison in the 4th house looks to 11°Sagittarius (fire element)  – court of public opinion in the 10th house
  • Black Moon Lilith in the 8th house looks to mend that broken link – self worth; value of ourselves is in question in the 2nd house 11°Aries (fire element – action)
  • Ceres needs to escape the mental, hidden closet with a release valve at 11°Leo (fire element) in the 6th house of morals and ethics of everyday life; practicalities. 

So what do we have in the heavens at these three positions?

  • 11°Sagittarius is the midpoint between the Sun and Saturn – the date on the calendar meets Father Time.  It is an illumination of ambition on the public stage for the victim.  Petition, march, protest.  It is a time to express public opinion.
  • 11°Aries in the heavens the asteroid Persephone (named after the Greco/Roman mythological character).  Persephone is the daughter of Ceres whom spends half the year in the Underworld and the other half on the surface – a time for compromise. Is this a face-saving exercise for the authority of the courts?
  • 11°Leo will remain in the shadows with asteroid Aphrodite 11:37° (Greek for Venus/peer group) – a peer review within the legal system most likely.

Apart from this Air Grand Trine in the mundane chart we have more to interpret. The Sun/Moon midpoint is always the primary focus of a particular point in time where needs (Moon) and wants (Sun) are in tension.

  • Sun/Moon=25:47°Scorpio – in the 10th house i.e. the public stage; handing down the decision by the QCA.

Interpreting through the houses, we note in the first house that 6:06°Pisces Asteroid Antonia (Toni McHugh; the ‘other woman’)  is EXACT asteroid Atropos (Greco/Roman mythology – cutting of a life-line) and conjunct 7:06°Pisces Neptune (hidden aspects; delusion) – we can but wait for this to unfold, as it will. 

Turning to the second chart with this in mind, we can see the dotted line (quindecile) from this first house Neptune (turquoise)  to Jupiter (green) – the decision by the court to transform the guilty sentence.  Neptune is also in square aspect to Saturn (risk of martyrdom).  Is this woman  (Toni McHugh) obsessing and deluded into believing her lover will be released soon?  

Initially I think not, when we see asteroid Lovas in the secretive 14:37°Scorpio reflecting Fini by opposition 13:03°Taurus.  But as we know, individual characters are not yet in this interpretation.

We note the asteroid Lie at 12:36°Pisces at the cusp of the 2nd house (self-worth) is opposite the asteroid Gerard (Baden-Clay) 11:05°Virgo in the 7th house (the husband of the victim) – self explanatory.

  • Chiron 16:59°Pisces square the Sun 15:32°Sagittarius –  Chiron in Pisces is always in crisis. This is a universal level crisis, nothing small ever hits this combination. This is not a day to slip a decision under the table.
  • Lunar South Node 27:53°Pisces square 11th house Mercury (yellow) – friends speak out in public.
  • Vesta 00:38°Aries quindecile 9th house Mars brings a higher meaning to keeping the home fires burning; a woman’s role.  Note: (pink) Venus together with the (blue) Moon (the population) are also in this 9th house in support of a higher cause.

Update, May 2016:  This was not the end of the matter.  We waited patiently along with many, many others until the High Court of Australia announced that they would hear an appeal in Brisbane on 26th July 2016; starting gun at 10:15am…

To be continued…

Stella who?

‘Stella whom’ is what you should be asking, not ‘who’.  Huh?

Oh never mind.  ‘Stellium’ is what I was trying to say, although Stella is Latin for ‘star’ so you were on the right track.  A stellium is a group of rugby stars stuffed in a Mini Minor in the heavens. Oh my goodness! I can smell the testosterone from here – teenage boys and hormones running rampant. This is not my idea of a good time. I’m outa here.

Hang on, before I go, what was the basis of the horrific family drama, Gerard Baden-Clay when you were about thirteen and a half?  What happened? This was a major life-changing event.  Your development, the maturity of your personality was affected.  It stunted your voice.

You kept a lid on this anger, stuffing it back down into your baggage compartment for twenty-eight long years. The entire family dynamic was annihilated.  These issues need to have been addressed as a family unit.  It was not resolved in your case and has grown to be a rage inside you. Tell me about it?   Why did you choose the night of 19 April, 2012 to let it out?

This stellium business we’re going to look at today might give us a clue to the origin of this rage, but don’t think we won’t get back to that time in 1984, we will.  Do you want the actual date?  How about 27 April, 1984.

But I digress, we have a rugby scrum to sort out today.  Where’s the referee?

Whomever is on the top of the pile when the rugby scrum collapses, looks to be the winner, although it’s where the ball is, that matters.  Also we need to consider who’s copping the weight, the most pressure – that’s the bloke on the bottom.  Then there’s all that sneaky gouging going on in-between and the other stuff the referee can’t see. The purists may yell ‘foul’, that rugby is a clean sport, so perhaps I should keep quiet and turn to the heavens for their view of the game.

 We have access to the birth horoscopes of each of our star-crossed partners in marriage, Allison and Gerard Baden-Clay.  As individuals, each has a horoscope that is unique.  It is when we put the two birth wheels together that the heavens open up to reveal the particular combination; we see the game play.

I was kidding about the Mini Minor.  A stellium is an astrology term for when a group of planets are heavily weighted (in close proximity) in a horoscope wheel.  The planets are usually all in one section of a wheel (a house), although sometimes they spill over into the next house.  Each house is like a playing field where a particular game of life is played (eg the ego game, money game, communication, love, relationships, work, careers etc) so when a group of planets are on the same playing field, some of these players (planets) may have a natural talent for the particular game that is being played on this field (in this house) and others may be clumsy or even make complete idiots of themselves, totally out of their element.

  • The referee in heaven’s opinion.

We have three wheels, which reveal three sets of stellium (highlighted in blue). The victim, Allison Baden-Clay (A), the accused Gerard-Baden-Clay (B) and a snapshot of the heavens at 11.55pm on 19 April, 2012 (C).

Stellium create a vulnerability in an individual’s life. They can confer exceptional talent and individuals can shine a brilliant light with lots of watts in their lightbulbs.  Allison is a perfect example of this.  Her communication skills were top drawer.

A stellium is not all that rare, however when they do appear in a horoscope we know that there is always a price to pay in an individual’s life. One playing field, one house gains a lot of attention (tension) and other houses miss out.

There is also a rule of thumb that the house prior to the stellium tells us where the team focus fall back on when the game is struggling.  The vulnerable individual looks back for support.  They could even be asking, “When is someone coming to rescue me from this mess?”  The problem with this thinking is that as adults, we are expected to clean up our own mess and in an adult manner, not wait to be rescued.  Easier said than done.

That vulnerability can be starkly revealed during a transit from an outer planet or during a time progression. Let’s leave the transits on the bench and start with the progressions as they have a guaranteed time limit.  The progression cogs click over one degree per year, so depending on the overall size of the stellium, we can determine the length of the effect.

By 19 April, 2012 Wheel ‘A’ (the victim) had “progressed Neptune” in opposition to the first house stellium. This particular stellium is an idealism issue rather than a full-blown stellium, in my opinion.  The idealism is revealed as an ideal persona to live by which Allison created for herself as part of her personality development, when still a young lass.  The Neptune progression would have just begun to create a ‘downer’ for her in this regard.  It was getting to be time for change.

“Progressed Saturn” was square to her team member Moon (in the second stellium set) located in the third house (house of communication).  Father time (Saturn) had been ticking for more than a year now. Her needs were not being met.  She was looking back to the second house for support (the house of money).  The coffers were empty.

Meanwhile Wheel ‘B’ (the accused) was just recovering after a couple of ‘annus horribilis’ years for his ego.  By 19 April, 2012, his “progressed Ascendant” had just left the stellium in his second house.  Stroking his ego is what he had been looking back for during that progression; back to the first house (the house of the ego/the self).

I would have thought that, by the date of the murder he would have progressed beyond the need to have a mistress, according to his horoscope progression.  Perhaps the mistress might have been the one hanging on.

At 19 April, 2012, the accused’s “stellium progression” (the team) is in preparation to put its entire weight on his natal Mercury (his communication) very soon.  If fact, as I write this post, that is exactly what is happening.  His voice is not to be heard while he is incarcerated in the Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre, Wacol.  Oh the team is jumping up and down and notes are being slipped under the door, but his actual voice is not to be heard anywhere.

So to the night of 19 April, 2012 Wheel ‘C’ (the crime).  We have no progressions – this wheel stands alone. The stellium is in the third house of communication, looking back to the second house of money.  Neptune is the ruler of the second house as well as the third house (both cusps are in Pisces).  That tells us that we’re going to have a lot of emotional impact, a downer.  This is also the planet, which will throw a bucket of water on any new ideas or schemes.

The stellium in this snapshot of the heavens is under tension from Saturn and also Pluto.  Heavy duty stuff. More downers – Saturn is Father Time and Pluto puts it all into perspective; authority figures and power together.  There are loans coming due for repayment.  If that’s not a conversation killer, nothing is.

It’s time now for a team analysis, while we are still in the locker room.

  • Wheel ‘A’ the victim, Allison Baden-Clay

The first of Allison’s stellium, we have addressed above.  It is an idealism issue – Mars, Sun, Venus. Illuminated brightly in the first house (ego/persona) those rose-tinted glasses avoid confrontation, are dependable and generous of spirit.  Mercury sits right on the perch of the Ascendant – yet another indicator of a voice that just has to be heard, even now after her death.

Here now is Allison’s team; team A – her second stellium. Jupiter, Moon, Uranus and Pluto in the third house of communication; in the zodiac of Virgo so the playing field is mental activity plus a good dose of detail.  She’d have a great filing system!

Jupiter expands everything it touches so the filing system is BIG. The Moon represents her emotional needs – they’re intense and her drive is to be correct rather than right. Allison knows that using right can lead to rightousness, so  she prefers to use the word ‘correct’.

Uranus adds that buzz to everything.  As a planetary input Uranus can be a bit of a rebel/adventurous; is forward thinking and a little outrageous at times.  Pluto, well he’s always scary. He’s on the top of the pile keeping a perspective on things.  That’s basically Team A.

  • Wheel ‘B’ the accused, Gerard Baden-Clay

The first point is that this is not much of a stellium really in his natal wheel, more of an idealism.  It is in the second house of money, with materialism/money as his focus and the zodiac sign on the cusp is Virgo, indicating communication again.

His communication would lead to an increase in his financial wealth. No wonder he was always out and about networking and we now know why that ‘gold’ jacket appealed – ‘team money’.

Uranus is on the top of this pile but has pretty much fallen off by his birth on 9 September, 1970 – not directly involved in the team.  Uranus is more a case of sitting on the sidelines.  The buzz was pretty much gone before he was born.

We have the Sun supporting the scrum with Mercury and Pluto. His team focus is communication, ideas and schemes, with himself as autocratic leader (Sun) and that scary bloke Pluto keeps it all in perspective.

Can you see the similarities between team A and team B starting to emerge now?  That was what the two had in common when they first met; the team spirit bound them together.  They saw themselves as a united team.

Apart from the connection between the pair, the stellium of the accused does not reveal its secret yet. It is when we put things together in bi-wheels at the start of play, that Gerard Baden-Clay’s spread of planets begin to create a monster pile-up of a scrum.

  • Wheel ‘C’ the crime, 11.55pm on 19 April, 2012 (time is by rectification)

The stellium of the night of 19 April, 2012. The Sun (ego/persona) supports Mercury (communication), Uranus (the buzz) and the Moon (emotional needs)  There is a strong need to communicate in a deep and meaningful way.

We are in the third house of communication looking back to the second.  Talk about money and the lack of it will definately be on the agenda.

The house is ruled by the zodiac sign of Pisces, however the planets are all in Aries.  We have different agendas going on here. This is a totally different ballgame!  The rules are for water polo (Pisces) and the players are all fired up (Aries) ready for a game of rugby.  Whoa! Hang on. This does not bode well. We all know that in water polo all the rough stuff goes on out of sight under the water – as it does in a rugby scrum.

Before we leave the locker room and onto the field of play, I need to ask a question of the accused.

How goes your little brother, Gerard?  He was only eight years old on 27 April 1984.  He was five years younger than you.  Did you look after him?  He would have been terrified.

Golden apples

It’s all the oracle’s fault!

Just as the younger generation would tend to do today, back in the Heroic times it was no different. Even for a young lady who had achieved great things such as winning the Pythian Games, beauty contests and travelling to far flung places, Atalanta consulted an oracle.  She dreamed of romance. What did the future hold for her?  Would she meet her soul-mate? Would she marry and live happily ever after?  Perhaps it may have been wiser for her not to enquire, for she was told that if she took a husband, she would lose her-self in the marriage.

Saddened by this news, but not wanting to lose her freedom-loving ways, Atalanta chose an independent life. Marriage was not going to be for her. Boar hunting with Diana and enjoying a life attuned to nature filled her days. She grew strong and fearless.  So fearless we are told that she defended herself against two Centaurs wanting to defile her body. Full of confidence and sound of body, she killed them both. That reputation alone, kept the wolves at bay.

Atalanta was a true beauty and many called to court her. She would speed away at their approach pretending to flee, calling over her shoulder, a challenge to a foot race. Most fell by the wayside.

If courtiers persisted in their advances, Atalanta would reveal the rules of her foot face, which were rather challenging, to say the least.  To the winner, Atalanta for a wife and if they lost, they must forfeit their life. This stopped ninety-nine percent in their tracks, but there’s always that one percent who will try.  They lost their lives.

Young Hippomenes happened by when such a challenge was unfolding and became enchanted by Atalanta’s beauty. The faster she ran, the more she appealed, hair flying behind her like a mane, skirts riding high, ribbons at her knees and elbows. He had never seen anything like her in his life. Ignoring the fate of the loser and believing that fortune favours the brave, he recklessly challenged the beauty to a race.

Setting her gaze on Hippomenes, Atalanta saw a beautiful youth, one who was known to have Neptune’s blood in his veins.  He was something of a black horse, known to the Greeks by an alternative name, Melanion. Atalanta had not met this shining youth before as his roots were in a foreign land. She did not dare to risk the wrath of the Gods by taking the life of one of their own for if he were to lose the race, he would lose his life. Atalanta refused his challenge.

He persisted to woo her. Despite the absence of Cupid, the more they bantered, the rosier the glasses. Their line of communication was strong and becoming a stronger bond every day.  He solved her technological problems – don’t lose sight of the fact that he had majored in computing and Atalanta gave him the attention he craved – an eleventh house stellium of planets. Their lives seemed destined to be entwined.

Never forgetful of what the oracle had foretold, Atalanta insisted ever more insistently that she wished he live, not die; that such a handsome youth should not forfeit his life.  The courtier was determined to conquer, to have her. The courted continued to deflect his challenge.

Seeing each other every day by reason of their common endeavours, Atalanta became more enamoured by the day, eventually believing that she had met her soulmate.   If only Atalanta had been more cautious, her friends and family more observant of the intentions of this young man. He was insistent that he and Atalanta should be together and so regretfully she relented and set forth to choose the venue for their race.  Tears clouded her vision.

Hippomenes, meanwhile appealed to the Goddess of Desire for her favour, yet again. It was said he could charm the pants off any young thing and this beauty was just another female to be conquered as far as he was concerned. He approached Venus to come to his aid.  He expected Venus to come to his aid.  He was a descendant of a line of peerage was he not?  Proud lion that he believed himself to be.

We know that our Goddess is easily flattered and so it is no surprise that she would agree to help Hippomenes in his cause. Venus came to his aid bearing gifts, presenting him with three golden apples from her orchard in the Hesperides. Gold apples!  He rubbed his hands with glee and proceeded to learn how to use them to his best advantage. Venus had taught him the power of sex.  Now she was to teach him the power of seduction. Hippomenes could not believe his luck.

Concealing the apples in his robes, Hippomenes presented himself at the venue for the challenge with Atalanta, ever confident with the Goddess on his side. Atalanta was resplendent as always.  Monday’s child, fair of face; Gemini ascendant’s full of grace; a bubbly infectious laugh, quick wit and fleet of mind as well as feet, Atalanta awaited the young contestant.

Bunting fluttering, the combined scent of  laurel and meadow flowers filled the air; musicians entertained the crowds gathered for the entertainment; trumpeters announced the arrival of the competitors, resplendent in their robes. Hippomenes’ and Atalanta’s eyes met as they took their places. Sparks flew. The race was on.

The fair Atalanta easily ran ahead of the youth, letting her ribbons tease him as she led the way, confident in her splendour. Neither she, nor her adoring family and friends, were to know of the deal the scheming youth had made. Innocents abroad.

Following his instruction from the Goddess, Hippomenes tossed one of the golden apples off to the side, falling not so far away, that the maiden would miss sight of it. She didn’t. Atalanta saw the glint of gold and chased after it, scooping up the apple and tucking it into her pocket with much glee. What a pretty thing it was.

While distracted, Hippomenes had drawn ahead of her, however Atalanta quickly caught up and passed him. Again he threw an apple, this time further a-field and again she chased it. Retrieved, Atalanta added this second golden apple to the first.  He drew away once more.  Atalanta was not perturbed, for she knew that she was faster than he.  She was part of Team Mercury.

Atalanta was mercurial in everything she did. Her ballet was a pas de deux with all Mercury represented; her world-wide travels were his realm; her studies, her ever curious mind, her line of work – all communication, the realm of Mercury.  Mercury is the messenger of the Gods. If there ever was a patron of a Flight Centre, it might well have been Mercury.

Perhaps it was the memory of Mercury’s golden cup that distracted Atalanta, or perhaps her love of pretty things, or maybe even her rose-tinted glasses. Whatever it was, she seemed destined to falter. Gold is quite heavy as we know and the combined weight of the two apples began to take effect, to weigh our heroine down.

Of course this worked in reverse as Hippomenes has now lightened his load. Oh Venus, what cunning.

The extra weight of gold in her pocket put a bit of a strain on Atalanta’s resources of energy, however despite this handicap she managed to eventually take the lead again.  Her family and friends continued to cheer her on. They couldn’t see what interest she could possibly have in this young man.  He was no match for her. Stop toying with him. Come on, Atlanta!

With the finish in sight, and the Amazon widening the gap between them, Hippomenes was heard to call out to Venus for her assistance. He tossed the last golden apple as hard and as high as he could, off to the side of the track. It sparkled in the sunlight as it flew through the air and landed in the rough.

Atalanta had not missed hearing his call to Venus and assumed it was for the aid of love, not trickery.  Her heart swelled to overflowing. Tears of joy filled her eyes.  She left the track to collect the third of the golden gifts; the beautiful but heavy golden apples. Atalanta miscalculated.  Thinking she had time to fetch the third apple, as well as win the race, she stowed the last golden prize in her skirts.

Hippomenes, relieved of his golden load, crossed the finish line before her.  Love had won the day, or had it?

We could end this story on a happy-ever-after note, but that is not the way of the Gods.  Once the result was announced, to the winner the prize.  Hippomenes, in his haste to secure his win, regrettably overlooked the ritual to honour the Goddess for his victory; to honour the deal that he had made.

He may have believed that he was superior, being descended from the great Scout Master, but that would not do in this part of the world.  We are in the realm of the Gods and Goddesses here.  No offering had been given, no incense burned. We can almost feel the Goddess beginning to fume.

In his haste to consummate their union, Hippomenes swept up Atalanta and sought out a quiet glade. Within the coolness of the forest, the couple happened upon a deserted temple and in the heat of the moment, the impetuous lovers entered and foolishly defiled the sanctuary. As fate would have it, the deserted temple was one which honoured the Goddess of Desire herself; a consecrated Temple to Venus.

Nothing passes unnoticed in the realm of the Gods and Goddesses.  In the eyes of heaven, Atalanta and Hippomenes were star-crossed lovers. Their relationship was doomed before it had barely begun.

Venus is not one to get sentimental over lovers, as we know. She considered their penance and with death too kind, she decided to turn them into a pair of lions and presented them to the Goddess Cybele.

Harnessed together, Hippomenes and Atalanta as lion and lioness, were cast forever to draw the Queen Bee’s chariot across the sky.

After every football/soccer win, Real Madrid fans celebrate at Cybele’s fountain in Madrid, Spain.  Eight metres tall, a white marble statue is the centre of attention. Holding the keys to the city of Madrid, Cybele rides in her chariot – a chariot drawn by a pair of lions – Atalanta and Hippomenes.