OBOD member and talented astrologer Sarah Fuhro has very kindly drawn up a Star Map for our 50th Anniversary, analysing the relationship between it and the charts of OBOD’s early beginnings and later resurgence. Sarah writes a wonderful Blog – ‘Sarah Fuhro’s Star-Flower Alchemy’ – which is well worth visiting and can be found here. What follows is Sarah’s insightful interpretation along with the charts themselves:
With the inspiration of Imbolc, I begin this description of the birth chart of the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids. There were two moments of inception. Nuinn and friends gathered for an evening of poetry on 23 September, 1964, at 7:30 pm, and on 25 September held a public ritual on Parliament Hill, at 1:00 pm. With these two assemblies in honour of the Autumn Equinox, we can already see the themes of poetry and public celebration of the earth, which have drawn so many of us to this remarkable and lively organization!
I drew up three charts, one for the poetic and literary evening, one for the ceremony on Parliament Hill and one for the moment of the Autumn Equinox of 1964 on September 23rd. All three dates take place as the Sun enters the sign of Libra where the scales of time are in balance between dark and light, the special lesson of our beautiful planet. Libra is linked to justice, to partnership, harmony and beauty under the rulership of Venus, the planet of love, which keeps our Order and the world turning!
At the opening of the Order, Jupiter, a planet who expresses the nature of spirituality by sign, was in Taurus. Jupiter in Taurus is the perfect description of an earth-centered devotion!
Jupiter, always a planet of expansion and generosity, in Taurus celebrates the beauty and joy of earthly delights. Nature becomes the spiritual inspiration, and in the love of Nature. Those born with Jupiter in Taurus learn the art of patience through a deep knowledge of the cycles and wisdom of the earth.
At the public ritual on September 25th 1964, Sagittarius, Jupiter’s constellation was on the horizon, the Ascendant. Sagittarius is an indicator of an optimistic belief in life, an embrace of the unity behind all deeply-felt belief systems.
The South Node of the Moon, also in Sagittarius, reveals a connection to a priestly past, (Druidry?), when the inspiration and intuition of spiritual leaders was accepted by the community. The North Node of the Moon shows the direction needed to balance the already developed gifts of the past. The North Node in Gemini, must evolve the ability to hear from others, and to communicate with clarity and concern for the whole community. OBOD, from the beginning, brought a reconnection to the earth spirituality of the past but communicated in the language of the present with care that members are heard, and honoured.
1964 was a time of awakening and change, which is symbolized in the planetary combination of Pluto, the god of the Underworld, and Uranus, electric and revolutionary, underway at that time. Speaking truth to power became an imperative for many. Human rights, spirituality, music, sexuality and politics were in early stages of turmoil, which would climax in the late 60’s, with many changes institutionalized through the early 70’s. These years are often referred to as a time of deep transformation all over the world, a desire for human evolution, often met with harsh repression. In September of 1964, Pluto and Uranus were quite close to one another, and fifty years later, as we are about to celebrate the 50th birthday of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, these same planets of volcanic upheaval are once again in a tight relationship, felt in a world-wide fever of change and resistance to change, and with the added Uranic potential for communication through the technical revolution of the internet, and the Plutonic potential for leaving nothing hidden, as well as the potential for repression through electronic spying.
OBOD’s Mercury, the planet of communication and magic, is placed in the midst of these highly charged planets. The Pluto Uranus conjunction, which coloured the times, took place in Virgo, a sign of deep commitment to work, to health, and to ritual. Mercury in Virgo is quite at home in this earth sign. OBOD is an organization whose revolutionary (Uranus/Pluto) message (Mercury) is to communicate the day-by-day magic of the earth (Virgo) through ritual, concern for the environment and a commitment to the health of the planet of which we are a part. As we celebrate fifty years of the Order, we are once more in a place of crisis (Pluto/Uranus) in response to our misuse of power (Pluto) and technology (Uranus) in the human relationship to the earth.
The planetoid Chiron was discovered in 1978, after the opening of the Order. Chiron has been associated with a worldwide interest in Shamanism. Chiron is said to be the healer, who cannot heal himself, but who takes the knowledge of his wound to mend the wounds of others. With his discovery has a come renewed interest in alternative healing from the past and the present. He is sometimes called the bridge between the inner and outer planets, a messenger to our earth from the planets invisible to the naked eye.
The cycle of Chiron around the Sun is fifty years. At the time of the fiftieth anniversary, Alban Elfed, 2014, Chiron will have returned almost exactly to his natal position in the sign of Pisces. The Chiron return in a human chart, at age fifty, often brings about a crisis of vocation. There is often a sense of purpose that goes beyond the natural focus on family and career, which take precedence for the first fifty years of life.
When the Order reopened on Valentine’s Day 1988, Chiron was in Gemini, very close to the degree of the lunar north Node. The evolutionary impulse of the opening chart now had a new cosmic player, who would introduce the concept of shamanism and healing, much of it inspired by a deep appreciation of the ways of indigenous people.
The 1988 reopening featured a close connection between Saturn and Uranus, the god of the old and the god of the new. These two planets are the ‘rulers’ of Aquarius where the Sun was residing on February 14. Druidry as expressed in OBOD is certainly a mixture of these two impulses.
Will our Order feel a higher calling, a deeper commitment to heal the wounds of the earth, the human spirit, the fabric of our life force? Many of these same themes are once again in flux as we experience the square between Pluto and Uranus.
Chiron in the birth chart of OBOD is directly across from Pluto, Uranus and Mercury. As we experience his return at the 50th year, something about that earlier revolutionary message must now be healed or understood in a new way. If we take a moment to feel the square of Uranus and Pluto in which we are now immersed, we can see the potential for Uranus, the revolutionary, and Pluto, the truth-teller to broaden our understanding of the potential for each of us as members of this Order – to be Bards (musicians and artists), Ovates (healers and diviners) and Druids (community voices).
It is the Moon, who lies opposite Chiron at this 50th anniversary. Shining Venus accompanies her at the moment of the Autumn Equinox, and we can see them shining together at dawn that day. The Moon and Venus represent the emotional and nurturing aspect of Druidry. There is a deep healing potential in the cosmic cycles held in the Moon.
As we gather in our world-wide circles and groves throughout this year, do we understand our power to heal the earth? This Imbolc, as I looked around the circle at my grove, I felt some deep well of hope that humans can once more become part of the living fabric of the planet we call home. Nineteen of us (the number of the Metonic cycle of the Moon) stamped our feet under the hemlock branches, near the misty pond to our West, where our Grove gathers each Imbolc. We celebrate our twenty-second anniversary this Alban Eiler. Nuin knew none of us in this circle in 1964. Many of us were not even born at that time, yet we know our deep connection of love and dedication to the seed he planted fifty years ago.
~ Sarah Fuhro, member of the Mystic River Grove