The Madonna of the Swallow


Carlo Crivelli, The Madonna of the Swallow (after 1490)

In The National Gallery. Getting a bit tired after spending some time there. As I walked past a painting unattentively, a small white feather caught my attention. It was falling down gently from mid air and landed on the frame of the painting I was giving it a pass.

There was an art description beside the frame. So I took a glance at the description, “The Madonna of the Swallow: This altarpiece represents the Virgin and Child enthroned with saints Jerome and Sebastian…”

Immediately I was struck with awe – not only that “Sebastian” bears a personal significance, this was the first time I came to know of St Sebastian and his life story.

The way he lived a secret life as a Christian in the Roman army (which at the time was hostile to Christians) and later survived the arrow sentence was rather Scorpionic. Then he went on to publicly rebuke the Emperor for his cruelty and unjust to Christians (which he paid with his life) was no less Sagittarius.

With a triple Scorpio and a stellium in Sagittarius myself, it was no surprise I found his life story both captivating and resonating.

Later out of curiosity, I cast a chart with his supposed date of death, 20 January 288. Interestingly, Jupiter was around 16th degree in Sagittarius! This placement holds a personal connection as I have South Node conjuncting Jupiter in 16th degree Sagittarius.

Without reading too much into this, am already finding the synchronicity amusing and amazing…

The Problem of Increasing Human Energy

Recently read an essay by Nikola Tesla, “The Problem of Increasing Human Energy”, which gave a spiritual twist to the physical law E = mc2. The essay explored solutions to increase the ‘human energy’ which is in proportion to mv2 , v being a hypothetical speed of man in its evolutionary path (which is less than speed of light, c else the man would have ‘ascended’ from physical plane to a non-physical plane).

m, represents the mass of man.

This mass is impelled in one direction by a force f, which is resisted in opposite direction by a frictional and negative force, R.

The difference between f and R is the effective force which imparts a velocity, v to the mass, m in one direction.


The above gives rise to 3 ways to increase the ‘human energy’ as follows:

1) Increase the mass from m to M


Tesla suggested “vegetarianism is a commendable departure from the established barbarous habit” of meat consumption. He also envisioned a future where there would be an abundance of cheap and healthy food that will enormously contribute to the increase of the human mass.

2) Decrease the resisting force from R to r


He gave a few examples of the resisting force: ignorance and stupidity being frictional force, while insanity and self-destructive tendencies being negative force. He further explained negative force though badly directed, is possible to be turned to good use. On the other hand, frictional force is directionless and results in unavoidable energy loss. So, he suggested “turn all negative forces in the right direction and reduce all frictional forces”.

3) Increase the impelling force from f to F


Tesla went on to state this is “by far the most important to consider, not only because of its intrinsic significance, but also because of its intimate bearing on all the many elements and conditions which determine the movement of humanity.” Every effort made must be in the direction in which the mass is moving, which drives man onward.


He summarised the solutions above to 3 words: food, peace, work, which are the keynotes of age-old religious teachings after all. Food to increase the mass, peace to diminish resisting force, and work to increase the force accelerating human movement.

Year end reflection on Saturn

Other than making a conjunction with both Pluto and Ascendent, and forming a square with MC, Saturn cuts a rather quiet figure in my natal chart. However, recent developments had me relook at Saturn’s roles and realise an uncanny correspondence to some of the significant events in life, specifically when it was making aspects to natal lunar node.

How it all began

At birth

Natal Saturn conjunct natal Pluto and Ascendent

Was told the labour took 7 painful hours before I was finally born (thanks, mom)

Transiting but not transient


Transiting Saturn sextile natal South Node

When school was the main stage, realised there existed game rules in order to succeed at school. Started to consciously play the game of life


Transiting Saturn conjunct natal North Node

Mentors in the form of school teachers came into life, helping and leading me to make decisions that would see me leave home for university education abroad and later choose a career in finance


Transiting Saturn conjunct natal South Node

Questioned the modus operandi developed since Saturn transit during childhood, boldly (and no less painfully) left a career that no longer served spiritual food. Eventually someone whose natal Saturn conjunct my natal North Node put me through a spiritual rite of passage (of sort), setting me up on a new life path that I secretly wanted but immensely afraid to walk it

Year end reflection

Oh my, the latest Saturn transit to natal South Node has truly been a great teacher and strict mentor. Have always had a dislike for anything authoritarian, paradoxically it is the Saturnian principle that has been playing a key part in tucking and pulling me in life.

Found an inspirational quote from the late Carrie Fisher that gave me great encouragement to continue on the path, and hope it does the same to you who need it

“Stay afraid but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and the confidence will follow.” – Carrie Fisher

Transiting Saturn Conj Natal SN

The past few weeks have been hard – Transiting Saturn conjoined natal Jupiter & South Node in Sagittarius/2nd House.

Dragged onto this new path, which felt right but totally went against logic. There hasn’t been a single day that’s gone by without looking up the sky and asking, “Why do this?”

The path has been uncomfortable to physical well-being (taking massive pay cut from a banking job to join a fintech start-up) and painful emotionally (enduring uncertain prospect and questionable career progression).

A negation of old identity and values.

All for the sake of 17° North Node in Gemini, as the Sabian symbol gives this assuring message:


Can’t be so bad?

“There’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path, ” said Morpheus in the Matrix.

Yes, the destination is known (see previous article why this North Node matters) but the day-to-day drama in life can be too heavy to bear.

“Take this cup of suffering from me, ” cried Jesus when he was on Mt Olives. He also followed by saying, “Yet not my will but Yours be done.”

Chart of a bipolar 2

Have a friend who is suffering from bipolar disorder. See previous post Chart of a bipolar. In summary, she has 29th degree Uranus conjunct Sun in Scorpio, both opposite Moon. These 3 planets do not have any major aspect with the rest of the planets, which have harmonious aspects among themselves.

It has been very difficult for her to cope with life and her own troubled personality. She has been unable to dissect, scrutinise and understand her own mind and psyche (as compared to spiritual seekers who may be more adept at seeking self-knowledge), and thus she relies heavily on external aids such as chemical medicines to control her depression.

When she is alone, she tends to have racing thoughts followed by depression. Electronic gadgets (eg. iPad, phone) have been helpful external aids in providing distraction to her unruly mind.

Very recently, she is getting suicidal. Fearing she might actually kill herself, she has admitted herself into hospital. Doctors have proposed Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) given the severity of her mental condition. Though ECT is controversial as there are adverse side effects such as memory loss and potential brain damage, she has accepted the therapy and will soon begin her first session.

Looking at her Uranus conjunct Sun opposite Moon configuration, can’t help but make association of Uranus with the external aids she has been getting for herself, particularly electronic ones. Sometimes wish she could find more inner strength within herself via her Sun.

Spiritual Food

Each of you is most intent upon being of service to others. But we encourage each of you to be most mindful to offer the self the spiritual food, which makes serving others possible.

For to give from oneself is to deplete oneself. To give through oneself is simply an act of service to others. And to open that shuttle through oneself, one must find that which is most helpful in establishing the feeling of unity with the Creator.

Give to yourself the permission to seek and to enjoy deeply and digest spiritual food, whatever it is that the spirit may give to you. Realize that the spirit of which we are representatives–for many different kinds of people need many different kinds of Comforters–is omnipresent. You cannot be without the spirit of unconditional love, for this lies within you.

Find it and open it, that your service to others may be no burden to you but instead a delight and a joy. For it is a merry illusion to one who steps with light feet. And to one who steps with light feet comes the ability to deal with serious subjects in a gentle way.

Adapted from A Book of Days, Carla L. Rueckert

Reluctant Aquarius Communicator


What strikes at the first glance of this chart is: (a) its specific design, and (b) with very few aspects (or very little “noise”)

Very little “noise”

This reflects in the calmness and poise of the native’s outward personality.

It is also interesting that the Mars-Venus conjoining pair does not form any major aspect with other planets, promoting further the outward calmness and poise of the native, as these energies lay latent in its psyche, lacking avenue for expression.

Specific design

The chart has a bundle pattern, where planets are within 140 deg in the upper hemisphere, with Neptune being prominently at the top of a bisextile aspect with Sun and Pluto.

One may suspect the area opposite Neptune will likely contain the “life mission” of the native. It is then no surprise the North Node is opposite Neptune in House 3, the house of communication.

Coincidentally (or shall we say, by design), its Mercury has a stress-producing square with 2 other planets. It has come full circle. Remember the native also has latent energies finding their way for self expression?

The native in real life

People naturally get drawn to native as it is a very pleasant and likeable person to be with. Superiors at workplace tend to trust and rely on native as it does not seem to crack under pressure and is always on top of things, in a cool and calm manner.

The native avoids confrontation with people, and likely keeps quiet rather than voices out personal view. However in its heart, the native aspires to be like the fast talker persona in ‘The West Wing’, the US political drama series, or as eloquent as orators like President Obama.